Explore Collections Explore The Collections
You are here: CollectionsOnline  /  [163] Finished drawing, New Law Courts, September 1823


  • image SM 53/1/23

Reference number

SM 53/1/23


[163] Finished drawing, New Law Courts, September 1823


Plan of the main (ground) floor of the New Law Courts, showing the light trenches for the basement level (unwashed), and ceilings for passageways, the Vice Chancellor's Court and the Court of Chancery indicated in dashed line, with the latter's gallery included, and varaint sketches (in pencil) for square corners to the Court of King's Bench façade facing New Palace Yard, as part executed


bar scale of 1/10 inch to 1 foot


Plan of the New Courts at Westminster. / Scale of Feet. / Westminster Hall. / Entrance into / the Court of / Kings Bench. / Entrance into the / Court of Exchequer. / Entrance into the / Court of Common Pleas. / Entrance into the / Vice Chancellors Court. / Entrance into the / High Court of Chancery. / Corridor. (x 3) / The Bail Court. / [_] 24 feet / The Court of King's Bench. / Entrance into the Court of King's Bench, &c / The Lord Chief Justices / Retiring Room. / Staircase. (x 3) / Attendants / on the / Lord Chief Justice / Water / closet. (x 5) / Porter. / Hall. (x 2) / Closet. / Entrance into the / Court of King's Bench, &c. / The Exchequer Court. / The Court of Equity. / Area. (x 5) / the Lord Chief Baron's / Retiring Room. / Passage. (x 3) / the King's / Remembrancer / Attendants / on the / Lord Chief Baron. / The Court of Common Pleas. / the Judges / Retiring Room. / Court of Common / Pleas. / Corridor leading to Westminster Hall. / Judge's Clerk. / Entrance into / the Vice Chancellors / Court, &c. / The Vice Chancellor's Court. / Attendants on / The Vice Chancellor / The Vice-Chancellor's / Reiring Room. / Serjeants / Room. / the Grand Inquest Jury. / The High Court of Chancery. / The Lord Chancellor's / Robing Room. / Attendants on / The Lord Chancellor. / Entrance into the / High Court of / Chancery, &c. / Grand Inquest Jury. / Keeper of the / Court of Chancery. / Entrance into the / High Court of Chancery / for the Lord Chancellor. / Masters in Chancery (pencil) Barons Clerks / Water / Closet / Members waiting / Room / Ushers Robing Room / Waiting Room

Signed and dated

  • 01/09/1823 - 31/09/1823
    John Soane Arc[hitec]t / L[incolns]. I[nn]. F[ields]. / Sept[embe]r. 1823.

Medium and dimensions

Pencil, wash, coloured washes of buff, pink and blue, and pen within septupal ruled wash border pricked for transfer on wove paper (914 x 634)


Sir John Soane RA (1753 - 1837), architect
Soane Office, draughtsman


James Whatman / Turkey Mill / K


The drawing is endorsed in Soane's hand, with proposed changes to the allocation of accommodation marked in pencil. There are also variant proposals in pencil for the corners of the Court of King's Bench. The latter suggest projecting pavilion towers containing entrances from New Palace Yard; a solution perhaps intended to cohere with The Stone Building. The gallery in the Court fo Chancery is shown with the pierced roundels at its corners, washed in a darker shade of buff.


Wedgwood, 1992: pp. 32, fig. 5; illustrated on p. 34



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.

Browse (via the vertical menu to the left) and search results for Drawings include a mixture of Concise catalogue records – drawn from an outline list of the collection – and fuller records where drawings have been catalogued in more detail (an ongoing process).