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London: House of Clerk to the Commons, Speaker's House, Palace of Westminster, ND (3)


Drawings 1 and 2 are undated, rough, three-part plans rapidly drawn by Soane with a writing pen and writing ink in which the existing House of Lords is located as in, for example, the plan of Westminster Palace, 1793, published in King's Works, VI, fig.19. Outlined with a stronger pen line (on drawing 1) are the buildings that were to be kept that is: Westminster Hall, Court of Requests, Painted Chamber and the House of Lords. An axis is drawn through the centre of the right-hand building that begins with a portico and elongated oval lobby at the bottom, cuts through the Court of Requests and Painted Gallery to reach the Speaker's House with its portico at the top. These designs seem unconnected with a new House of Lords.

Drawing 3, roughly made by Soane over a carefully drawn survey plan, is a development of drawings 1 and 2. The overall three-part plan is no longer symmetrical though the right-hand and centre are much the same as in drawings 1 and 2. Different is the addition of a quarter-circle wing labelled 'Low Buildg' on the left-hand side. As before the House of Lords, drawn in more detail, remains in the same position as on the 1793 plan. These drawings seem to be concerned more with the house of the Speaker of the House of Lords than with the Lords chamber.

Jill Lever, December 2013



Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

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Sir John Soane's collection includes some 30,000 architectural, design and topographical drawings which is a very important resource for scholars worldwide. His was the first architect’s collection to attempt to preserve the best in design for the architectural profession in the future, and it did so by assembling as exemplars surviving drawings by great Renaissance masters and by the leading architects in Britain in the 17th and 18th centuries and his near contemporaries such as Sir William Chambers, Robert Adam and George Dance the Younger. These drawings sit side by side with 9,000 drawings in Soane’s own hand or those of the pupils in his office, covering his early work as a student, his time in Italy and the drawings produced in the course of his architectural practice from 1780 until the 1830s.

Browse (via the vertical menu to the left) and search results for Drawings include a mixture of Concise catalogue records – drawn from an outline list of the collection – and fuller records where drawings have been catalogued in more detail (an ongoing process).  

Contents of London: House of Clerk to the Commons, Speaker's House, Palace of Westminster, ND (3)