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  • image SM 40/4/15

Reference number

SM 40/4/15


[1] Site survey


Plan of Premises in / Fountain Court / Aldermanbury


bar scale of 1/6 inch to 1 foot


as above, [W.] A. Jackson Esqre, labelled: Mr Newcomb, Mr Reynolds, Lights, Area or Yard, Party fence Wall, Gateway, Fountain / Court, Back line of Mr Newcomes (sic) house, One Story & / Cellar, 2 Stories / and Cellar, Condemned, Certificate given to Mr Soane May 16, Daniel Haig and Co, Condemned, Wells, Condemned, Wells, Wells, Wells, Condemned, Certificate left at ye Bank / May 28 1804, Simpson, Condemned, Condemned, Church Passage, Passage, Mr Brooks / Certificate given to Mr Soane May 16 / to remain, Passage, Mr Bond, Baptist Head Coffee House and dimensions given

Signed and dated

  • 23 January 1802
    Lincolns Inn / Fields / Jany 23 1802

Medium and dimensions

Pen and light red wash, pricked for transfer on laid paper with four fold marks (465 x 477)


William Edward Rolfe
Pupil November 1801 - 1804.


J Larking and fleur-de-lis above cartouche with bar and below, GR


The drawing has at some point been trimmed down since the inscriptions at the bottom left, bottom right and top of the sheet are clipped. There are at least two hands present in the drawing. The brown pen inscripitions appear to have been added later, as they contain dates ('May 16', 'May 28 1804') and information on the surrounding buildings, whereas the other inscriptions label the different parts of the plan. The 'title' in the bottom left corner is a later addition still. The condition of the drawing, with its many fold marks, suggest that it was made on or taken to the site.

The complex plan of the irregular site in the City of London is revealed by this drawing. Many of the surrounding buildings are labelled as 'condemned'. There are seven entrances to the building from Fountain Court and one from Church Passage. Internally the division of the rooms is irregular.

The Baptist Head Coffee House (not to be confused with the Baptist Head Coffee House on Chancery Lane) was owned by a Mr James Bond. One contemporary account describes it as 'much frequented by gentlemen of the law, &c. Commissioners of Bankrupts sits here. Good dinners, wines, and beds' (J. Feltham, The Picture of London for 1804..., 1804, p. 351).



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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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