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The Speaker's House: surveys, 1794-1803 (2)

Notes

The buildings around St Stephen's Cloister were occupied by the Auditor of the Exchequer until 1794, in which year they were given over to the Speaker of the House of Commons. Henry Addington (1757-1844) oversaw new fittings and alterations between 1794 and 1801. Further alterations were made for Sir John Mitford (1748-1830), 1801-2, before more substantial alterations were carried out for Charles Abbot (1757-1829) in 1802-8, all under James Wyatt (1746-1813). During Soane's tenure £2,646 was spent on works involving the stairs (1824) and the kitchen was moved at a cost of £680 (1826). An average of £346 a year was expended on general maintenance between 1816 and 1832.

Literature:
J. M. Crook and M. H. Port, The History of the King's Works, VI, 1973, pp. 533-4.

Tom Drysdale, November 2014

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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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