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  • image SM 54/6/15

Reference number

SM 54/6/15


[25] Design for the principal (west) front, St Peter's, Walworth, London, January 1823


Elevation of the west front of a five-bay church. There is a single flight of external steps. The entrance is recessed behind a screen of four Ionic columns with three sets of double doors with stone surround and architraves, the central door being the largest. The entrance is flanked by two arched windows within relieving arches. Above is a frieze ornamented with fret. On the roof level is a stone balustrade, and behind is a rectangular base with a pinecone cap at each end. The tower consists of a square base, a rectangular portion with the architrave supported by Corinthian pilasters, and above are pinecone caps at each end. On the front of the tower there is a shuttered louvre with a clock face above. Above, there is a cylindrical tower supported by engaged Corinthian columns, a lancet window, and further caps around the top. Finally, there is a dome surmounted by a weather vane


pricked bar scale of 1/4 inch to 1 foot


Newington Church. / No.5 / Elevation of the West Front

Signed and dated

  • January 1823
    January 1823
  • June 1823
    Copy June 1823

Medium and dimensions

Pencil, pen, wash, coloured washes of yellow and blue, pricked for transfer on wove paper (730 x 523)


Soane Office, draughtsman


When compared with the 1822 scheme for the principal front (SM 54/6/7), there have been some modifications to this design: the end-bay windows now lack a transom and recessed panel, and are unlatticed, the three windows above the entrance doors have been replaced with a recessed panel, the caps along the roofline have disappeared, the stone balustrade is replaced with one consisting of sets of balusters, and a wide base to the tower has been added with caps and pinecone finials on the corner. The position of the shuttered louvre and clock have been reversed, the Corinthian pilasters are all unfluted and the balustrade with turned balusters is now a flat architrave with Soane caps at each corner, and further caps have been added around the architrave at the base of the dome. The weather vane has been enlarged and can be seen as a detail in 1824 in the design (SM 54/6/40). The high pitched-roof has also disappeared, and the side elevation (SM 54/6/16) reveals it has been changed to a flat roof abutting the base of the tower.

Overall, despite small additions, including a large extension of the base of the tower, it is mostly an elevation showing deductions from the 1822 scheme, which fits those Soane carried out for the 1823 scheme at the behest of the Commissioners.



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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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