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  • image SM 53/1/11

Reference number

SM 53/1/11


[154] Survey, with preliminary designs, Westminster Hall and Law Courts, 1822


Plan of the ground floor of the Old Law Courts, their offices and anciliary accommodation, to the north of Westminster Hall, with preliminary plan for perimeter of New Law Courts along St Maragret's Street and New Palace Yard, unexecuted


line scale of 1/10 inch to 1 foot


Westminster Hall. / Court of King's Bench. / Court of Chancery. / Waiting Room (x 4) / Lord Chancellor's / Room / Mices Coffee / House / Area (x 4) / Mr. Lee / Clerk in Parliament / Passage / to Judges / Room / Court of / King's Bench / Grand Jury and Record Room / Passage / to Court of / Common / Pleas / vaults / Room inder / Judge's Room /of the Court / of King's / Bench / Court of Common Pleas / Vaults under Judges / Room of the Court / of Common Pleas / Record Room / Passage / to Judges /Room of / the Court / of / Exchequer / Exchequer Coffee / House / yard / Vaults belonging / to Exchequer / Coffee House / Vaults belonging to / Liver's Coffee House / Record Room under / Exchequer Court. / Oliver's Coffee House / O (x 2) R S T (x 2) U V W / Prison / Grand Jury / Witness / & / Clerk / (pencil) In the Court of Kings Bench there / is no officer called the Court Keeper / but the Ushers of the Court have / the [same?] capacity / A B (x 2) C K M / Judges [_] / Room / Mr / Alasder / of the Court / of King’s Bench / Gallery [_] / [_] Coffee / house / [_] / Centre line (x 2) dimensions given

Signed and dated

  • 1822

Medium and dimensions

Pencil, wash, coloured washes of brown and blue, pen, within partial single ruled border pricked for transfer on wove paper (863 x 522)


Sir John Soane RA (1753 - 1837), architect
This drawing is annotated in Soane's hand.
Soane Office, draughtsman


The Court rooms and ancillary accommodation belonging to the Courts of Exchequer and Common Pleas have been washed in green and brown respectively. The former includes the entrance passage from St Margaret's Street. Overalying the existing perimeter at the northern and north-western parts of the plan is a pencil sketch for a a new façade which creates a return flanking range for the as yet unfinished Stone Building, and continues the Court of Exchequer range westward along New Palace Yard, terminating the latter in a right-angled corner. The diagonal pencil lines marking the fenestration suggest this plan was used to set up a perspective. There are numerous pencil anotations, in particular around the anciliary rooms to the south of Westminster Hall, which resist transcription.


Sawyer, 1999: p.487, footnote 1441



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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