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image SM 6/2/13

Reference number

SM 6/2/13


[11] Variant design for plan of ground floor


Ground floor plan


bar scale of 1/8 inch to 1 foot


The Earl of Ailesbury, Plan of Bagden House, shewing the proposed alteratrions and additions, rooms labelled: Drawing Room, Eating Room, Hall, Staircase, Library and / Breakfast Room, Lord Bruce's / Dressing Room, Laundry, Wash-house, Housekeeper, Servants' Hall, Court, Butler, Kitchen<

Signed and dated

  • 11/6/1795
    Lincolns Inn Fields 11 June 1795

Medium and dimensions

Pen, red and sepia washes, quadruple-ruled border, partly pricked for transfer on laid paperwith one fold mark (474 x 589)


The office Day Book entry for 11 June 1795 has Meyer, Jeans, Seward and Good as making drawings for the 'Earl of Ailesbury'. These were four of the five pupils then serving their articles with Soane. (See introductory notes for full names and dates)


J Whatman and fleur-de-lis above cartouche with bar and below, ornate W


The new drawing and eating rooms are projected forward so that there is a gap between these rooms and the existing ones to the rear. This allows for a different design for the circulation from the entrance to the staircase. Thus a segmental stair (three steps) fronts the entrance door and thence a cross-vaulted hallway precedes a raised square 'Hall' with four steps on four sides - two of which have windows; then follows the staircase. The aim is to create a more impressive sense of arrival and departure but the idea of a raised hall, 15 x 12 feet, that you step up to and then down seems odd.
The plan does not incorporate the pencilled notes regarding windows to the sides of the eating and drawing rooms and the re-positioning of the doors of the design made the day before (see Alternative designs for ground floor 'No1', SM 6/2/14, dated 10 June 1795).



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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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