- Other Years: country houses etc
Soane first visited Castle Hill in late April 1786. The late Tudor house was on a shallow H-shaped plan with long single-storey office ranges extending to the east and west. It had been considerably altered and expanded by Roger Morris c. 1730. Soane sent Lord Fortescue drawings for proposed alterations in May and June but he did not hear back from the client until late January 1788, when Lord Fortescue called upon him to check on the building works and offer further designs (G. Darley, p.85). Soane visited promptly, and in February he made drawings for the library and offices. A design for the offices must have been finalised by March 1788, when Soane sent working drawings to the site. In August, designs for a poultry court were sent to Castle Hill. Drawings were sent to the client in 1788 and 1789, including designs for a china closet, library, library table and farm yard. Further designs for the library were made in 1802.
Drawings show that the wash house and brew house were demolished and the offices refitted. Alterations to the eating room, library and drawing room are also apparent in the plans.
The central section of the house was burnt out and rebuilt in 1934 but Soane's domestic offices were not affected.
Literature: D. Stroud, Sir John Soane, architect, 2nd ed., 1996, p. 134; P. Dean, Sir John Soane and the country estate, 1999, p. 175; G. Darley, John Soane, an accidental romantic, 1999, pp. 85, 88.
Madeleine Helmer 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 Hill, Devon: (executed) alterations to house and offices, 1786- c.1788, and record drawing, 1807, for 1st Earl Fortescue (5)
- Presentation drawing of the existing house, 1786
- Survey drawing and record copy, one dated May 1786 (2)
- Design for the proposed alterations and record copy, c.1788 and 1807 (2)