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Nackington, Kent: (executed) alterations and additions for Richard Milles, 1786-1787 (6)

Signed and dated

  • 1786
    Main Year
  • 1787
    Other Years


Christopher Milles (?-1742), purchased Nackington in 1727 and it passed on his death to Richard Milles (1736-1820), MP for Canterbury 1761-80 who in 1786 commissioned Soane to build an additional room, the drawing room, adjoining the west side of the original house and re-model some of the interiors.

It is probable that the connection between Soane and Milles was Lees Court (q.v.). In 1785 Milles only daughter Mary (1767-1818) married Hon. Lewis Thomas Watson (1754-1806), son of Lewis Watson, 1st Baron Sondes (1728-95), who owned Lees Court. Nackington passed to the Barons Sondes through Mary on Milles death. Soane was closely involved in the work at Nackington, making eleven journeys to the site between 12 June 1786 and 10 April 1787, five direct from Lees Court including the first two in June and July 1786 (SM Ledger A, p. 112).

Soane and Milles were quick to agree on the designs for the new addition (drawing 1). Soane’s first visit to survey the site was 12 June 1786. On 20 June he sent 'Two fair Drawings of design / for Room, viz, 1 plan & Section of 4 sides / of Room, 1 Elevation of do. on sheets / of Royal paper each, One Working Drawing of Plan / & Elevation, One Section on ½ sheet of / Cartridge paper' (SM Accompt book 1781, p. 152). The whereabouts of these designs is currently unknown. By 20 July 1786 Soane returned to 'settle the Works proposed to be done in altering the house', for which measurements were taken on 25 August 1786 (SM Ledger A, p. 112).

On 4 September 1786 Soane made a further journey to settle ‘other alterations’ (SM Ledger A, p. 112), presumably the internal alterations (drawings 2-4) which included the ‘Library... Study, Eating Parlor, Dressg Room, Staircase and Water Closet’ (SM Bill book no. 1, pp. 2-3). Only a design for an external doorcase (drawings 5-6) would appear to be somewhat of an afterthought as archival records relating to 'the frontispiece' do not appear until January 1787 (SM Order Book 1787 No. 1, pp. 45-51, 53).

None of Soane's work survives. After being used as a hospital during the First World War Nackington fell into disrepair and was demolished in c. 1922. In 1996 several Tudor-style homes were built on the site (P. Dean, p. 176).

Literature. P. Dean, Sir John Soane and the country estate, 1999, p. 176; E. Hasted, The history and topographical survey of the county of Kent, 1800, pp. 291-99

Joanna Tinworth, September 2011



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

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Contents of Nackington, Kent: (executed) alterations and additions for Richard Milles, 1786-1787 (6)