Explore Collections Explore The Collections
You are here: CollectionsOnline  /  Survey of the house of the Clerk to the House of Commons, February 1825


top left corner
top right corner
bottom left corner
bottom right corner
image SM 37/1/30

Reference number

SM 37/1/30


Survey of the house of the Clerk to the House of Commons, February 1825


First floor Plan of Mr Ley's House (Clerk to the House of Commons)


bar scale of 1/5 inch to 1 foot


as above, labelled: First Floor, 19'0'' by 15'0'', 19'0'' by / 23'0'', 15'0'' by / 17'0''

Signed and dated

  • February 1825
    L. I. Fields / Feby 1825

Medium and dimensions

Pen and sepia wash, pricked for transfer on wove paper with one fold mark (491 x 353)


Soane Office


Smith & Allnutt 1820


John Henry Ley moved into the house in 1820 and promptly set about improving the residence. £450 was spent in that year and successively smaller payments up to the third quarter of 1824. Faced with an urgent need for more committee rooms for the Commons a select committee recommended the construction of a new building in the area between the House of Commons and the Painted Chamber - "the only spot on which the plan can be carried into effect", according to Soane (q.v. London: House of Commons, Palace of Westminster: designs and executed design for library and committee rooms, 1825-1830). This proposal necessitated the removal of Ley's house. Ley refused to give up the residence, however, and put forward his own plan for new committee rooms leaving his own house in tact. This plan is now in the Soane Museum (SM 51/4/1). In April 1826 Soane produced a new design based on Ley's. The committee preferred the original proposal but, with no other option, sanctioned the reduced plan to be carried out. This survey of Ley's house, dated "February 1825", was probably made in preparation for Soane's original plans. East is to the top of the drawing.

See also designs produced by Adam Lee, Labourer in Trust, in 1821 (SM 51/4/2-8).

Tom Drysdale, November 2014



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.

Browse (via the vertical menu to the left) and search results for Drawings include a mixture of Concise catalogue records – drawn from an outline list of the collection – and fuller records where drawings have been catalogued in more detail (an ongoing process).