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Tortworth Court (Gloucestershire): unexecuted designs for a pair of gate lodges in a Castle style for Lord Ducie and design for a prospect tower 1796 (12)

Alternative designs for twin lodges were made for Francis-Reynolds-Moreton, 3rd Baron Ducie (1739-1808) in November and December of 1796. The office Journal 3 records that one site visit was made (30th October to 2nd November), four designs were sent by post on 15 November and another two designs on 2nd December. The office Ledger D shows that Ducie was charged £20.6.0 for the visit and £6.6.0 for the drawings, a total of £26.12.0 and it must be assumed that none of the designs were carried out.
This was not the first scheme designed by Soane in a Castle style. The domestic offices at Skelton Castle (1790-1) had embattled walls and his alternative designs for Dunninald House included two sets of designs in a Castle style (q.q.v). More successful were the embattled stables at Port Eliot, 1804.
Of 'the old Tortworth Court ... All that survives is a ruined fragment'. (D.Verey and A. Brooks, Gloucestershire 2: the Vale and Forest of Dean, 2002, pp.772-3. The new Tortworth Court was built 1849-53 by S.S.Teulon (1812-73) who also designed the SW lodge.

There are in the Soane Museum's green box files under Tortworth two (indistinct) photo copies of photographs (Conway L12/20(19) and L12/20/(18) of two designs for a gate house. These were sold at Christies, 30 November 1983, lot no.81. One (18) is the same as drawing [7], the other has alternative designs of which the right hand one also relates to drawing [7] while the left hand design is the same as drawing [9].

For a note on another drawing sold at the same sale see drawing [12] for Soane's design for a prospect tower for Lord Ducie

A design for a 'Prospect House', c.1796 in in the Victoria & Albert Museum see P.du Prey, Sir John Soane, 1985, in series of 'Catalogues of architectural drawings in the Victoria and Albert Museum', catalogue 118, pp.57-58


Jill Lever
April 2015
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