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Reference number

SM 37/4/3


[7] Design for the Cottonian Library


First floor plan


bar scale of 1/12 inch to 1 foot


20, to be / 15 / foot, 28, 20, 28 Sqr, 68 Sqr, (later hand) No 3

Signed and dated

  • 1733

Medium and dimensions

Pen and sepia (brown) wash on laid paper, bound in volume (320 x 486)


Stephen Wright - 1780)
Dimensions in Kent's hand.


This design corresponds to the ground floor plan, drawing [6], and therefore differs from earlier designs (for example, drawing [4]) by having spiral staircases to the north-east and south-east. The library itself is 68 feet square (it is, in fact, a cube) with apses in the north and south walls, behind which are identical rectangular rooms with screens of columns.



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).