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Designs for completing the main courts and river wall, 1711-14


[10] Designs for completing the main courts and river wall, 1711-14

Signed and dated

  • 1711
    Main Year
  • 1712-1714
    Other Years


The final scheme involves the doubling of the north pavilions of King Charles II and Queen Anne Courts, towards the river. It took as its starting point a perspective drawing which Hawksmoor submitted to the Board of Directors on 15 November 1711. The perspective (now lost, although possibly used by subsequent engravers, including Hulsbergh for Colen Campbell in 1725; Bold 2000, fig. 156) showed the doubling of the north pavilions of the Queen Anne and Charles II Courts. It was this element of the design 'in the perspective before mentioned' that the directors asked Hawksmoor to pursue immediately (Wren Society, VI, pp. 64-5). Subsequent work on the King Charles and Queen Anne Courts, and on the colonnade, occupied a further twelve or thirteen years, and entailed the completion of a modified version of the plan in the model of 1699-1700, in which the officers' ranges adjoining the colonnades were omitted and the north ends of the Queen Anne and King Charles II Courts were enlarged.

In September 1727 a general audit of the accounts was prepared, accompanied by an estimate prepared by Colen Campbell (Surveyor from 1726 to 1729), Hawksmoor and James of the cost of completing the hospital (£131,750; see [11/10], and Bold 2000, p. 156). The costed building works do not include any alterations on the inside of King Charles II Court. However, an account submitted in September 1728 included work for the creation of fourteen additional cabins, by narrowing those already there to increase accommodation. Hawksmoor's master plan drawing of 1728 in the RIBA Library Drawings collection (Bold 2000, fig. 144) and his record drawing of the ground floor plan of King Charles Court [11/4], both state that the building holds 206 men. This is an increase of fourteen on the figure of 192 in the list of men in the Extract of November 1728 at 109/4. The difference of fourteen at this later date is probably explained by the men not having yet been accommodated in the new cabins.

The general audit in 1727-28 is sufficient to explain the existence of a set of four floor plans of King Charles Court marked with cabins enclosures in the hand of an office draughtsman [11/6-8], which were in turn based on drawings by Hawksmoor. Two of these are at the Soane [11/3 and 4]; another set by Hawksmoor is at the National Maritime Museum (Wren Society, VI, pl. 19, top).

A further aspect of the completion of the final scheme was the fitting out of the south pavilion of Queen Anne's Building in 1729. The drawing for this [11/11] is the latest dated example with notes in Hawksmoor's hand.



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Contents of [10] Designs for completing the main courts and river wall, 1711-14