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  • image SM 53/1/10

Reference number

SM 53/1/10


[148] Finished drawing, New Law Courts, c July 1821


Plan of the main (ground) floor of the New Law Courts, incorporating the existing Court of Exchequer and returning the flanking wing of The Stone Building to St Margaret's Street, unexecuted


scale of 1/18 inch to 1 foot

Signed and dated

  • c/07/1821
    dated in accordance with known building campaign

Medium and dimensions

Pencil, wash, with grey wash and pen, pricked for transfer on laid paper (487 x 302)


Soane Office


W Weatherley


A fair copy in a distinctive meticulous hand (which may be the same as in drawing SM 53/1/9). The new buildings of this scheme are shown in light grey wash, in contrast to the existing which are shown in black wash. Here, the core of the existing Court of Exchequer is retained, including the polygonal stair turret giving access to New Palace Yard. Internally, the latter Court is completely recast, with windows recessed into convex alcoves behind colonnades; the latter perhaps supporting galleries. The existing pair of spiral staircases either side of the entrance to the Court of Common Pleas are also retained. This suggests that at least the basement level was incorporated into this scheme. That the existing Court of Exchequer is to be retained suggests this plan relates to the first Law Courts scheme, prepared by Soane from 1820-1821. This scheme is shown to a larger scale and in greater detail in drawing SM 53/1/13.



Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation. This catalogue of Soane’s designs for the New Law Courts was generously funded by The Worshipful Company of Mercers and The Pilgrim Trust.

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

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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