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image SM 37/2/26

Reference number

SM 37/2/26


Design for improvements in Westminster, (Copy) 13 April 1824


Plan shewing projected Improvements in the vicinity of / Westminster Abbey and Whitehall in the 1803 (sic)


bar scale of 1/5 inch to 10 feet


as above, labelled: Westminster Bridge, The River Thames, Bridge Street, New Palace Yard, Westminster Hall, Old Palace Yard, Westminster Abbey Church, St Margaret's / Church, Parliament Street, Cannon Row, Whitehall, Downing Street, Fludyer Street, King Street, Great George Street, Duke Street

Signed and dated

  • 13 April 1824
    C.J.R. Copied April 13nd (sic) 1824

Medium and dimensions

Pen, sepia, yellow ochre and light blue washes within a triple-ruled black and sepia wash border on wove paper with one fold mark (728 x 1291)


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


James Whatman Turkey Mill Kent 1824


This drawing relates to the work of the Westminster Improvements Commission, which totalled over £250,000 between 1799-1815. The area around Westminster Abbey, Westminster Hall and the Westminster Sessions House was opened up; slums to the north of the Abbey were cleared, making way for Garden Square, St Margaret's Street was widened and post-medieval additions to the historic structures were removed. This drawing shows a proposal for widening King Street from the Sessions House to Downing Street.

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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