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Three variant (presentation) designs for the south (entrance) front and (presentation) designs for the west front and east front respectively, c. October 1785 (5)


The three different designs for the south elevation (drawings 1-3) are for a five-bay (for drawing 3, seven-bay) front of two storeys over a basement; 78 feet wide and 35 feet high (to the roof).

Design 'No 1' is closest to the executed design though (as with designs 'No 2' and 'No 3') without an attic storey. It has a Venetian window (three-part with the central opening being arched and wider than the side openings which have flat heads) either side of the door with a similar form; the door is approached by eight steps. The heads of windows and door are set in a semicircular blind arch (modified in execution). It is striking that the large windows and glazed door have the same form. Six pilasters of an Ionic type are spaced at distances of about 11 x 6½ x 11 x 6½ x 11 feet. Above the four centre pilasters is a pediment with oculus; the frieze is continued across the entire front. Design 'No 2' has four conventional window openings and is distinguished by its bowed portico with four Ionic columns on a semicircular stepped base. Design 'No 3' though the same width as the other designs is of seven bays and has a door that is of the same design as in No 1; small arched windows are placed on either side of two variant Venetian windows in which the side lights are filled-in.

Drawing 4 is for a five-bay west elevation measuring 68 feet that has small niches at each end and three large windows that are a variant of a Wyatt window (itself a variant of the conventional Venetian window) consisting of tripartite windows beneath a segmental blind arch; here, Soane uses a semicircular blind arch.

Drawing 5 is for a seven-bay east elevation measuring 103 feet that has five tall, square-headed windows set in blind arches (one fronted by steps); at each end there is a blind window set in a larger blind arch. This east wing is 35 feet longer than the west wing.

In all of the designs the first floor has conventional windows.

From the plans that follow (drawings 6-9) it seems that Robert Fellowes chose the 'No 1' design for the entrance front and agreed to the design of the side elevations (drawings 4 and 5).



Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

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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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Contents of Three variant (presentation) designs for the south (entrance) front and (presentation) designs for the west front and east front respectively, c. October 1785 (5)