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  • image SM 21/1/12

Reference number

SM 21/1/12


[8] Alternative preliminary design, April 1784


Copies of three plans, that is, designs 'No 2' to 'No 4' (drawings catalogued as 2,4 and 6) except that: the semicircular courts of drawing 2 are reduced, and the copy of drawing 4 (bottom plan) omits the porch and offices shown on the original plan. Thus, for ease of comparison, three plans to the same scale (slightly reduced for top and middle plans) are shown in terms of design and importantly of cost: the expensive scheme A at the top, the medium cost scheme B with the possibility of adding the offices at a later stage indicated by dotted lines and, at the end, the minimal cost scheme without offices or porch. Small (pen) sketch plan for house


bar scale of 1/8 inch to 1 foot (approximately)


(Baldwin) rooms labelled and dimensioned similarly to drawings 2, 4 and 6, additionally (relating to plan labelled 'A') B1 Perhaps this door is not necessary / C Put this door in the middle of the two rooms / 2n Housekeeper - / Is a Servants Hall necessary ? / Butlers Pantry / Cellaring under Eatg Room & best Staircase -- (illegible) as / Over the parts marked D.D. - (illegible) Store Closet 9 by 5 and (Bailey) The Revd John Gooch

Signed and dated

  • April 1784
    (by Soane) April 1784, probably after 25 April when Soane made a site visit

Medium and dimensions

Pen, sepia washes, pencil within black ruled and sepia wash border on laid paper (597 x 473)


BALDWIN, Robert (fl. 1762--1787), draughtsman
Drawings 1-8 have all been attributed to Robert Baldwin (fl. 1762-c.1804). The inscription of drawing 1 and the numbering of subsequent drawings are in his hand as are the room labels. Other drawings from Soane's early practice also attributed to Baldwin include drawings made for the dairy at Hammels Park, Blackfriars Bridge in Norwich and Letton Hall (q.q.q.v). All made in 1783-4 when Soane (who was without office help until he acquired his first pupil in September 1784) relied on ad hoc assistance from Baldwin. The rendered drawings (elevations) made for Saxlingham were evidently done in a hurry, lacking Baldwin's usual finesse but with his favoured green washes.


J Whatman, fleur-de-lis within crowned cartouche and below, ornate W



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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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