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  • image SM Adam volume 40/41

Reference number

SM Adam volume 40/41


[16] Variant designs for a bridge, 1759-61, unexecuted


Elevation of a bridge across a cascade set within a landscape, with a single segmental arch, rusticated and with a parapet of balustrading, and ornamented with roundels and a frieze of anthemia and strigils and an inscription tablet, resting on two piers containing sculpture-filled semicircular-headed niches, and surmounted by seated male sculptures, and with abutments ornamented with Vitruvian scroll, and terminating with pedestals supporting fluted columns


3 1/5 inches to 10 feet


Design of a Bridge for The Right Honourable The Lord Scarsdale Proposed to be Built / Over a Fall of Water fronting His Lordships House at Kedleston in Derbyshire / Span of the Arch 60 feet. Extent from Column to Column 190 feet (and in pencil in the hand of Arthur Bolton) See original sketch / Vol. 9.84 (verso) Bridge for Lord Scarsdale

Signed and dated

  • 1761
    Robt Adam. Architect / 1761

Medium and dimensions

Pen, pencil, wash and coloured washes including olive green and cerulean blue within a single ruled border on laid paper (1745 x 534)


Robert Adam


The frieze and balustrade across the arch, and upper portion of the piers are drawn on a separate sheet which has been affixed showing that the original drawing has been altered.


Bolton, 1922, Volume II, Index p. 19
Harris, 1987, p. 78
King, 2001, Volume II, p. 219
For a full list of literature references see scheme notes.



Exhibition history

In Pursuit of Antiquity: Drawings by the Giants of British Neo-Classicism, Sir John Soane's Museum, 1 February - 1 June 2008; Tchoban Foundation Museum für Architekturzeichnung, Berlin, 3 October 2015 - 14 February 2016

Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

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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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