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Reference number

SM 36/2/11


[3] Design for the ground floor of a new Parliament House


Ground floor plan


bar scale of 5/9 inch to 10 feet

Signed and dated

  • 1733

Medium and dimensions

Pen and sepia (brown) wash on wove paper with one fold mark (522 x 728)


William Kent (1685 - 1748)


fleur-de-lis within crowned cartouche / WR = IV


In this second surviving design for the ground floor the building, in contrast to drawing [2], has become more square. It now measures 444 feet by 325 feet. There are seven entrances on the west side, one on the east and two on the south. One of the southern entrances leads through to a very grand staircase, although this would appear to be a secondary point of access - the primary route being through the carriage entrance on the west side via a square ante-room. An identical staircase is in the north-west corner of the building. The precise location of the new Parliament House is suggested by the adjoining building to the north west. Although Salmon identifies this building as the Court of Requests, it is in fact Westminster Hall. At a little over 60 feet it is too wide to be the Court of Requests, which was only 40 feet wide, but closer to the width of Westminster Hall (68 feet). Furthermore the location of the new Parliament House in the "Pantheon" Scheme is confirmed by another drawing in the Soane Museum that Salmon does not mention (drawing [5]).

(Salmon, p. 335)



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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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