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Bagden Lodge, Savernake Forest, Wiltshire: unexecuted designs for alterations and additions, 1795 (15)


The most recently published information on Bagden Lodge (or House) comes from: Victoria County History, D.A.Crowley et al (editors) , ‘Savernake’, A History of the County of Wiltshire, volume 16, Kinwardstone Hundred,1999, pp.207-215. (http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=23049)
‘Bagden Lodge, also standing c.1600, (fn. 38) was replaced by a house built in 1717-18. The new house, (fn. 39) of two storeys and attics, consisted of a main north-west and southeast range with an east service wing, on a L plan, with its west corner attached to the east corner of the main range. The principal front, of seven bays with a pediment above the three central bays, was to the south-west. …In the later 18th century and early 19th a rectangular block was built on the north-east side of the main range, and a second rectangular block was built so that its west corner met the east corner of the first, and its south corner met the north corner of the service wing. (fn. 41) The house, which stood in a clearing called Savernake Lawn, was thereafter called Savernake Lodge. (fn. 42) In the later 19th century a single-storeyed extension incorporating a billiards room was built on the south-east side of the main range, but by 1886 the house, except that extension, had been demolished. In the earlier 18th century a north-east and south-west range, partly single-storeyed and partly two storeyed and incorporating stables and coach houses, was built south-east of the house, and by 1886 that had been linked to the surviving part of the house to form a new house on an L plan which was standing in 1995. A small park had been laid out south-west of the house by 1806 (fn. 43).”
The description of the 1717-18 house tallies well with Soane’s survey drawing of June 1795 although there is no pediment on the seven bay front elevation with four pilasters. A model, in the possession of Viscount Severnake and of uncertain date, has a front elevation close to Soane’s survey plan but with eight bays. However, the right-hand one was clearly added at some later time so that the pediment (over bays 3 to 5) is not centred.
Soane's client was the first Earl of Ailesbury, Thomas Brudenell-Bruce (1729-1814). The proposed re-modelling of Bagden Lodge was for his son Charles Brudenell-Bruce (1773-1856).
Soane's estimate for enlarging the house was £3,650 and his fee of £48.10s was settled in 1798. Since he usually charged 5% of the final cost of the work (though less if he did not supervise the work himself) it may safely be assumed that it was not carried out.

Most of the drawings were made by one or other of Soane's pupils: Frederick Meyer (1775-?), pupil April 1791-1796; Thomas Jeans (c.1775-1866), pupil August 1792-25 August 1797; Henry Hake Seward (1778-1848), pupil and assistant May 1794-September 1808; Henry Joseph Good (1775-1857), pupil January 1795-January 1799

Jill Lever
September 2014



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

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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 Bagden Lodge, Savernake Forest, Wiltshire: unexecuted designs for alterations and additions, 1795 (15)