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image SM 37/1/10

Reference number

SM 37/1/10

Purpose

Survey of the north front of Westminster Hall, (Copy) 1807

Aspect

Part of the North Front of Westminster Hall with plan of the niche to the left of the entrance

Inscribed

as above

Signed and dated

1807 (NB. date of original; this copy probably made 1819-20)

Medium and dimensions

Pen and sepia wash, pricked for transfer on wove paper with two fold marks (588 x 550)

Hand

Soane Office

Notes

The removal in 1807 of the public houses adjoining the north front of Westminster Hall revealed the medieval façade for the first time in over a hundred years, although it was found to be in a very dilapidated condition. Sean Sawyer has identified this drawing as an unfinished copy of an elevation by someone at the Office of Works showing the state of the hall in 1807 (The National Archives: WORK 29/3297) (Soane at Westminster, PhD thesis, Columbia University, 1999, p. 258). An example of the abuse inflicted upon the hall includes the window that breaks the trefoil panelling to the east of the entrance. Repairs were carried out in 1807-8, including the infilling of the modern windows, the replacement of canopies on the west tower and the restoration of the tracery in the upper windows. Soane carried out more extensive repairs with Thomas Gayfere, the master-mason of Westminster Abbey, assisted by John William Hiort and Robert Browne, in 1819-20. This work included the restoration of missing ornaments and the replacement of battlements, crockets and quatrefoil cresting, and coincided with the addition of a new tier of windows in the slope of the roof, the replacement of the louver (of which there is a model in the Soane Museum, SM MP20) and the restoration of the great hammerbeam roof.

Tom Drysdale, October 2014

Level

Drawing

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

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: drawings@soane.org.uk

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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