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  • image X232

Model for the Law Courts, Palace of Westminster London, plan of Court of Common Pleas, designed by Sir John Soane, 1822-23

Painted wood

Height: 13cm
Width: 50cm
Depth: 42cm

Museum number: X232

Curatorial note

Soane used his Brief Statement on the Proceedings respecting the New Law Courts of 1828, to answer damaging criticisms of the lay-out of the Courts. To start with, he pointed out that he could not be held responsible for the shortcomings of the Gothic Law Courts, as executed, for his design had been radically altered by the Parliamentary Select Committee against his advice. Then he continued: “I must also take permission to observe, that in the general Plan of the Court, the fittings of each (Court) were distinctly traced: - models were also made, and before any part of the finishings were begun, each of the Courts was fitted up in a temporary manner: - these models and temporary fittings were inspected by several of the Judges, by some of the Gentlemen of the Bar, and by the other Officers of the Courts: various alterations were suggested by these Authorities, from time to time, which were in every respect attended to.”

This model and model X231 show the two courts in sectional plan with their fittings and are probably of the type referred to above. The one for the Court of the King’s Bench (X231), showing Soane’s later design for the front to the new Palace Yard, dates from post March 15th 1823 (see model SM MR32 of the Classical design for the Law Courts). This model of the Court of the Common Pleas is probably dated 1822-23.

It is somewhat puzzling that these models do not appear in the earliest inventories (1837) of Soane's collection when they must have been at Lincoln's Inn Fields at that time.

Associated objects

X231, another similar
MR32, related material


If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: worksofart@soane.org.uk