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London: Haymarket, Westminster: terrace of three houses for Benjamin Brecknell, 1800 (3)


Benjamin Brecknell and his nephew-by-marriage, Samuel Turner, were tallow-chandlers with premises at 31-32 Haymarket. Samuel's son, Benjamin Brecknell Turner, was born at this address and became a pioneering amateur photographer. Soane designed three houses incorporating shops and a public house for Brecknell in August 1800. The location of the intended houses is revealed by references to the Lemon Tree Public House on drawing [3]. A plan in the British Library (BL Maps Crace Port. 12.34) shows that this was at the north-west corner of the Haymarket and had three houses to the south with a combined frontage of approximately 50 feet. The new houses have a total frontage of 49 feet 10 inches (drawing [3]). It is unclear whether the houses were ever built. P. Peckham - who is recorded as signing the drawings along with Brecknell - has yet to be identified.

P. Dean, Sir John Soane and London, 2006, p. 209; Benjamin Brecknell Turner, <www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/b/benjamin-brecknell-turner-biography>; Plan for a new outlay of the Lemon Tree Public House, <www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/onlineex/crace/p/ 007000000000012u00034000.html>

Tom Drysdale, March 2015



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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 London: Haymarket, Westminster: terrace of three houses for Benjamin Brecknell, 1800 (3)