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Wimpole, Cambridgeshire (James Gibbs)

Signed and dated

  • 1714
    Main Year
  • 1714-1725
    Other Years


Gibbs was in correspondence with Edward Harley about his house and collections at Wimpole in November 1714 and February 1715 (Welbeck archives; published in Wren Society, XVII, pp. 9-10), but the earliest payments to him for designs are in 1719. On 24 July that year he submitted an account, in guineas, to Lord Harley for seven sets of designs for items of furniture, sculpture, 'Several dores for ye Library', and 'Several drawings for ye Chapple', for which he charged £10 10s (ibid., p. 9). The three sections and plan of the chapel at Wimpole, 1 (SM 111/19), must represent one of these drawings. Another account at Welbeck, dated 17 May, is concerned almost exclusively with designs for Wimpole and includes the items: 'For two fronts for Wimpol[e]' (£8. 8s) and 'For two Fronts for Wimpol[e] more carefully drawn than the first' (£10 10s). The two elevations, 2 and 3 (111/17 and 18) can be linked to the first payment. The 'more carefully drawn' elevations are the two drawings of alternatives for the entrance front on a single sheet in the National Trust's collection at Wimpole (David Adshead, Wimpole, 2007, cat. 8, p. 21). These incorporate some of the revisions that are sketched in pencil on 2, this drawing being an initial proposal for the remodelling of the entrance front.



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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.

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Contents of Wimpole, Cambridgeshire (James Gibbs)