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Reference number

SM 36/2/32


Survey of the Palace of Westminster


Plan / of the / Parliamentary and other Public Buildings / adjacent to Westminster Hall / from a Survey made with the intention of / supplying the necessary information for / the proper consideration of / the proposed new buildings with related sections and elevations and site plan and with an advertisement for C. J. Richardson's architectural academy attached


Scale of 20 Feet to an Inch and Scale to large Elevations &c of 1/10 inch to 1 foot


as above and plan labelled: Carpenters Work Shop and Office, Shed containing Stores and Carpenters Work Shops, Shed for drilling the Metropolitan Police, New Palace Yard, Ground Floor / over Star Chamber lately fitted up / as the Court of Review, Exchequer Offices, Printer, Sealing Department, Garden, Wine / Cellar, Occupied by the late / Mr Wild Clerk to / the Exchequer, Conservatory, Garden, Office Keeper's Residence, Over the Pells Department, Exchequer / Bill Office, Mr Rickman Clerk / Assisant to the House / of Commons, Mr Godwin Office / Keeper to the Exchequer, Ground Floor, Tally Court now / Assistant Comptroller, Commissioners / Room, One Pair Floor, Messenger / Pells Department, Kitchen, Stables and / Coach Houses, St Stephens Court, Westminster Hall / (pencil) This floor lowered 1ft5in by Sir R Smirke 1835, Hall, Bail Court, Barons / Clerks, Court of Kings Bench, Court of / Equity, Judges / Retiring Room, Judges / Clerks, Hall, Kings / Remembrancer, Masters / in Equity, The Barons / Retiring Room, Court of Exchequer, Court of Common Pleas, Judges / Retiring Room, Court / Keeper, Sergeants, Judges / Clerks, Grand Inquest / Jury (twice), Vice Chancellor's / Robing Room, Vice Chancellor's / Court, Secretary, Court of Chancery, Ld Chancellor's / Robing Room, Attendants, Grand / Inquest Jury, Hall, Library / Masters in Chancery, Sealers, Barristers, Members' / Waiting Room, a, Entrance Hall / House of Commons, House of Commons / 1 Pair Flr Committee Room No 14...Committee Room No 13...Committee Room No 12 / 2 Pair do Poor Returns and Store Room...Committee Room No 15...Kitchen / Attics Prison Rooms (3) and / W.C. Staircase at a, One Pair Floor Committee Room No 11...Staircase / Two Pair Do Members Dining and Tea Rooms &c No 5 / Attic Mr Bellamy 11 Rooms, Servants, Outer Lobby, Over / Mr Bellamy's / Staircase, Over / Committee Rooms Nos 1.2 / 6 & 7 Messengers Lobby &c, Bell Tower / of / St Stephen's / now / Speakers Staircase, These Cloisters were erected by Dr John / Chambers about 1530. The ancient cloisters / built about 1355, with the Chapter House / and Oratories formerly stood between / St Stephen's Chapel and the Painted Chamber, Cloisters, On the Site of this Wall in the Year 1803 some ancient / Piles were discovered which had been intended to keep off the Craft, House and Offices occupied by the Speaker of the House of Commons, House of Commons / 61'0'' by 32.8 and / 38.1 / Height 26.6 / To under side of Gallery / in front 12.8 / over Lobby of House was / the Smoking room or No 3 / Committee Room 26.10 by 20.6 / 14.4 high / Room for Ladies about 14.0 high, Crypt / or Chapel of St Mary in the Vaults, The Upper or St Stephens Chapel, House occupied by the Chief Clerk of the / House of Commons / John Henry Ley Esqre, Roof of / Kitchen, One Pair Floor, Clerk of the Fees Office / containing 412ft supl, Over / Clerk of the Fees / & Copying Clerks / Contg about 370ft supl, Library House of Commons / Two Floors 27ft high, D, W.C., Area, Staircase, Over / Committee Clerks / containing 480ft supl / Journal Office 380ft / Clerk of Journals 218ft / Examining Offices 202ft, Engrossing Office / containing about 470ft supl, Staircase, above - Clerk of Election / Recognizances, Clerk of Committee / of Elections, Private Bill / Office, below - Labourer in trust and Ventilation room, Lobby, House of Lords, now Temporary House of Commons, numbered 1-8, His Majesty's / Robing Room, Attic / Printed Journals, Passage, Howard's / Coffee House / Committee Room No 4 / 2 Pair Floor, Comttee Rm, Doorkeeper, Witnesses, Counsel, Clerk / Assistant, Peers Staircase, Clerk of Journals / and / Copying Clerk, Lord / Chancellor's / Officers / Room, Lord Chancellor, Peers Entrance / Basement, House of Lords / Basement...Counsellors Robing rooms...Masters in Chancery...Staircase...Additional Reading Clerk...Reading Clerk...Hall / 2 Pair Floor...Clerk of the Table...Yeoman Usher...Black Rod...No 1 Committee Room...No 2 Committee Rm...Sergeant at Arms...Deputy Sergt at Arms...Earl Marshall / Attic...3 Rooms...Black Rod...Mr Fellows...4 Rooms Housekeeper / 1 The Throne / 2 Woolpacks / 3 Archbishops / 4 Lord Chancellors stool / 5 Serjeant at Mace / 6 Clerk of the House of Lords / 7 Clerks Table / 8 Clerks Seats, Old Palace Yard, Part / of / Henry VII Chapel, His Majesty's Carriage Entrance, These buildings erected by Sir John Soane 1822 and 1823, Space to / form procession, Chairman / of / Committees, Area, Staircase, Basement Bishops / Servants, A, Bishops Entrance / Basement, Bishops / Waiting Room, The Scala Regia, Bishops Robing Room / Apartment 4 Rooms, Arch Bishops / 2pr Doorkeeper, Basement / Servants Hall, Lobby, Librarian, The Lords Library / Erected by Sir J. Soane 1825, Housekeeper / now temporary / Bishops Robing Room, Housekeeper, Basement, The Painted Chamber / now Temporary House of Lords, Conferences, The Royal Gallery, Basement...Parliamentary Papers House of Lords, Ante Room, These buildings erected by Sir John Soane in 1823, C, Ld Gt / Chamberln, Area, Lord Great / Chamberlain (twice), Committee Room / No 4, Erected by Sir John Soane 1826, Committee Room (twice), Upper floor / Assistant Reading Clerks &c, The Lords Committee Rooms, B, Librarian, Temporary / Communication / Basement, Hall (3 times), Kitchen, Parlour, Servants / Bed Room, Strong Room, Cotton Garden, House occupied by the Gentleman / Usher of the Black Rod / Basement, 106ft0 to line of / proposed embankment, Parliament Stairs, 196'7'' from this point to little Abingdon St is "Ground private / property but which will be obtained if necessary" ...elevations, sections and perspectives labelled: Part of Westminster Bridge, The width between / the Centres of the / middle Piers is 93'1, The front line of the embankment / to be drawn from the Northern face / of the third Pier from the Northern / Abutment, 107'6 between the Abutments, Small General Plan shewing the line of / proposed Embankment and the three / points (V) for the perspective views, Abingdon St, Bridge St, Parliament St, Garden (twice), Gt George St, Storeys Gate, The Parliament House / Hollar fecit 1647, Section of the South Wall of the Chapel shewing what was / probably the external form of the Eastern Window, In the ancient rolls of the expences incurred in the / erection of the Kings Chapel at Westminster, the building / generally is styled "the Chapel". St Stephen's is thus men- / tioned "The upper Story of the Chapel" and "the upper Chapel / where the stalls are to stand" of the "vesura" or vaulting / therein mentioned and the position of the "allura" or / gallery within the upper Chapel no certain opinion can / be formed from the description given. The remains shown / in the Section above the inner battlement exist on both / sides against the Eastern Wall and the only bond stone / above the springing of the arches is shewn by the two / dotted lines. // In the will of Henry 6th it is directed that the stalls / and rood loft of the Choir of Eton College "shall be in the / same manner and form like the stalles (sic) and roode loft of / St Stephens". The Gallery probably existed at the West End / as there is no mention of any Western Window. // The small print by Holler (sic) in 1647 is obviously incorrect., Elevation of part of the North Wall / of the Chapel the mullions of the / upper windows appear to have / been continued to the ground, Elevation of part of the East front of / the Chapel showing the parts now / remaining, Elevation of half the East front of the / House of Commons in 1794 as it was / left by Sir Wm Chambers, Elevation of Centre of the East front / of the Speakers House, The upper part of the East front / of the House of Commons as left / by Sir C Wren from a drawing / made by Thos Sandby Architect / 1755, engraved in Smiths Antiquities / of the City of Westminster, Painted Chamber, Cornice of / Old House / of Lords, East Wall of Long Gallery, Painted Chamber, East Elevation of the Lords Committee Rooms &c / Built in 1826 the Exterior prepared to receive Gothic finishings, Elevation of Centre of Stone building / opposite St Margarets Church, Official Residence of the Gentleman Usher of the / Black Rod - River front, The Floor of the Royal Gallery is / 12 feet above the proposed floor / of Westminster Hall, The Lords Library, Section from A to B, Painted Chamber, Royal Gallery, Section from C to D, Ante Room, Section through Scala Regia, Section from E to F and Elevations of His Majesty's State Carriage / Dimensions of the State Carriage / Length 24ft0in width 8ft3in / Height 12.0 length of Pole 12.4 / The distance between each two horses is 3 feet / It requires 60 feet to turn with the eight horses, The Throne in the Old House of Lords, Gallery in House of Lords / during the Reform debates, The Speakers State dining room is shown within the Crypt / of St Stephen's Chapel, the columns within this room are about / 3 feet higher than the ancient ones which are buried 3 or 4 feet / The Crypt at present is about 16 feet high / a small passage called Solomons porch projected from the East / Wall of the House of Commons and led to the Staircases of the / Members Galleries. The Speaker had no entrance to his house from / this passage., Elevation of Westminster Hall and the front of the Court of Kings Bench next New Palace Yard ...beneath title: The buildings generally are shewn as they existed / before the fire 16th Octr 1834 / The Plan of St Stephens Chapel is restored, so far / as the remains indicate / The dotted lines shew the extent of the fire / The walls tinted within the dotted line are / standing but those shewn in outline only are / removed. / Published by Mr C. J. Richardson at his Office 24 Manchester Street / Manchester Sqre - at Mr Weale's (Taylor's Architectural Library) / 59 High Holborn & at Mr Williams', Charles St Soho Sqre / Price £1.1. ...advertisement: Academy of Architecture / 24 Manchester St Manchester Square / for the education of young Architects and Students and / for such of the Nobility Gentry or Officers in the Army who / may be desirous of forming a taste for Architecture with a / knowledge of the principles and practice of construction. / Founded 1832 / by / Chas Jas Richardson, Architect / Pupil of / Sir John Soane / On the same principles as the Architectural School / at Paris founded by the celebrated M. Labarre / Architect of the Theatre of Bordeaux / &c, Evenings for / Students from / 6 till 9 o'clock, Terms of further information / can be obtained any Evening / or on Sunday morning after Church, C. J. Richardson Invt et Delt, Drawn on Zinc, Printed from Zinc by Day & Haghe

Signed and dated

  • August 1835
    C. J. Richardson Archt / Manchester Street / Augt 1835

Medium and dimensions

Engraving on wove paper backed with cloth with two fold marks (810 x 1305)


Charles James Richardson (1806 - 1871)
Pupil February 1824 - January 1827.


This incredibly detailed plan, which was made by Soane's assistant and former pupil, Charles James Richardson (1806-71) in 1835, shows the Palace of Westminster before the fateful fire of 16 October 1834. The parts of the building that were affected by the fire, between the south end of Westminster Hall and the Royal Gallery, are shown by dotted lines. Around the edges of the plan are elevations and sections of various parts of the building, including Soane's Scala Regia, Royal Gallery, Lords' Committee Rooms, King's Entrance and the new Law Courts, and the Speaker's House and Black Rod's House, both of which Soane altered.

Many prints were made following the fire of 1834, which provided a lucrative opportunity to those print sellers who were quick off the mark. Such prints could be intended to commemorate the event, to raise funds for the restoration, to make a moral point or to make a profit.

Of further interest and significance, although unrelated to the Palace of Westminster, is the advertisement for C. J. Richardson's Academy of Architecture "for the education of young Architects and Students and for such of the Nobility, Gentry or Officers in the Army who may be desirous of forming a taste for Architecture with a knowledge of the principles and practice of construction".

Tom Drysdale, October 2014


J. Lever, Architecture Engraved, exhibition catalogue, 1996, p. 11



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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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