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  • image SM 54/2/8

Reference number

SM 54/2/8


[1] Finished drawing for the interior of Holy Trinity Church, Marylebone, London, May 1820


Perspective of the interior of the Church. The central nave leads through an arch with two roundels in the spandrels, into the chancel area. The aisles at both nave and gallery level are articulated by an arched arcade, with the gallery level having a balustrade with turned balusters between each arch. Roundels are placed in the spandrels of the colonnade, and running around the roof level is a band of ogee moulding. Latticed rectangular windows provide light at the clerestory, gallery and nave levels. The nave has a barrel-vaulted ceiling, at one end of which are three windows. At the end of the nave there is an alcove with a decorated moulding flanked by roundels, and in front of which is an altar rail. Behind the altar rail is an altarpiece with four Ionic columns supporting an architrave, with caps at each corner, and between the central pair of columns is a triangular pediment with acroteria. Between the intercolumniations are three panels. Behind the altarpiece is a fan light


to a scale


View of the Interior looking towards the Altar. / No. 12. / A

Signed and dated

  • May 1820
    L.I.F. May. 1820

Medium and dimensions

Pencil, pen, wash, coloured washes of blue, brown, olive green, Payne’s grey, orange, red, and stone within an octuplet ruled border on grey wove paper (536 x 419)


Soane Office, draughtsman




This initial design shows that Soane was thinking about a barrel-vault, which would raise the roof to form a high clerestory level. The windows on this level also reveal that Soane was thinking about an oblique top-lighting effect to supplement the smaller windows on the gallery level, and the squared windows of the nave level. Soane was also thinking about more windows within the arch (in pencil) seperating the nave from the chancel. The design seems to have a series of enfilades, each one opening up, but also demarcating, space: one is formed by the curve of the roof vault, a second is the aforementioned arch seperating the nave from the chancel, and a round arch to house the altarpiece. The chancel area containes the altarpiece within a recess at the back, with a fan light to illuminate it from the rear, and so there are no large rear windows. At nave level, the arcade from the side opens up the space for light, but also gives a greater sense of perpesctive for the visitor at ground level. The enfilade, with direct top-down lighting, was used by Soane to great effect at Dulwich Picture Gallery.


Carr, 1976, vol. II, p. 386, vol III, p. 853 fig. 195



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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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