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image SM 37/1/18

Reference number

SM 37/1/18


Design for improvements in Westminster


Block plan of the area between Great George Street, Princes Street, St Margaret's Church Yard and Garden Square


bar scale of 1/8 inch to 10 feet


labelled: Design for Improvements in Westminster, King Street, Great George Street, Story's Gate, Queen St, built, Mewse (sic), Westminster / National free School, Little George Street, Access to Stabling, Garden Square, Westminster / Sessions House, St Margaret's Church Yard, Princes Street, Dartmouth Row, Bennett St, Dean St

Signed and dated

  • Novr 11th

Medium and dimensions

Pen, sepia and burnt Sienna washes, pricked for transfer on wove paper with one fold mark (498 x 345), affixed to SM 37/1/19




The Westminster Improvements Commission was consolidated from a number of different bodies at the turn of the nineteenth century and, between 1799-1815, spent over £250,000 on the urban renewal of the area around Westminster Hall, Westminster Abbey and St Margaret's Church. In this drawing the area around the Westminster Sessions House is opened up. South is to the top of the sheet.

Tom Drysdale, October 2014


J. M. Crook and M. H. Port, The History of the King's Works, VI, 1973, pp. 515-6.
S. Sawyer, "Delusions of national grandeur...", Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 13, 2003, pp. 237-50.



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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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