Castle Ashby was begun by the 11th Baron Compton in 1574. It was assumed to have been of typical Elizabethan E-shaped plan, but Jackson-Stops noted that a first-floor plan, found in 1980 (now in the Norfolk Records Office), showed a quadrangular house. By 1635 a screen had certainly been added as a southern range forming an enclosed courtyard. The death of Northampton and his Countess was most likely the cause that none of Adam's designs were executed. In 1771 the 8th Earl commissioned John Johnson (1732-1814) finally to rebuild the great hall.
A.T. Bolton, The architecture of Robert and James Adam, 1922, Volume I, p. 34, Volume II, Index p. 6; J. Fleming, Robert Adam and his circle, 1962, p. 260; D. Stillman, The decorative work of Robert Adam, 1966, pp. 22, 62; B. Cherry and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Northamptonshire, 1973, p. 140; G. Jackson-Stops, 'Castle Ashby, Northamptonshire', Country Life, 30 January 1986, p. 248; J. Ingamells, A dictionary of British and Irish travellers in Italy: 1701-1800, 1997, p. 713; C. Mosley (ed.)., Burke's peerage, baronetage & knightage, 2003, p. 2927
Frances Sands, 2011
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 Castle Ashby, Northamptonshire: survey plans and unexecuted designs for the great hall, and a stable court for the 7th Earl of Northampton, 1759 (9)
- Survey plans showing the layout of the house, 1759 (3)
- Preliminary design and three finished drawings for the walls of the great hall, June 1759, unexecuted (4)
- Finished drawings for a stable court, unexecuted, c1759 (2)