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Designs for alterations to the Chapter House, Westminster Abbey (2)


The Chapter House of Westminster Abbey was built in 1250. Originally a meeting place, since the Reformation it had bee used as a repository for the records of the Law Courts and the Exchequer. Soane surveyed the building in 1818 and recommended the addition of iron doors and shutters to help protect the records against fire. The two drawings catalogued here show the outhouses that had been built up against the Chapter House by the time of Soane's survey, the most dangerous of which were demolished by the Office of Works after some difficulty in gaining approval.

J. M. Crook and M. H. Port, The History of the King's Works, VI, 1973, pp. 535-6.

Tom Drysdale, November 2014



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

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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.

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).  

Contents of Designs for alterations to the Chapter House, Westminster Abbey (2)