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Number 8, Adam Street


Number 8 Adam Street

Number 8 Adam Street is located on the eastern side of the street, and was to the north of the centre of the block. The façade of this house survives, albeit with a largely twentieth-century fabric behind.

The first resident of this house is not known, but in 1788-92 it was occupied by Sir Richard Arkwright, the inventor of the spinning frame, and innovator of water- and then steam-powered cotton manufacturing. According to the Survey of London, ‘during the last 10 years of his life Arkwright was constantly engaged in lawsuits concerning his patents and had frequently to visit London in connection therewith, and it was probably for this reason that he took the house in the Adelphi.’ From 1848 it was home to Thomas Brassey, a railway contractor, and from 1859 Thomas Roger Smith, an architect.



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).  

Contents of Number 8, Adam Street