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  • image SM 54/6/27

Reference number

SM 54/6/27


[38] Design for the iron work supporting the roof, St Peter's, Walworth, London, January 1823


Plan, elevation and section of the iron work supporting the roof, with red centring lines. Iron posts run from the top of the Doric column through the bressumer, and iron work curves to mirror the arch and is clamped to the bressumer above. Two oak braces emanate from the neck of a post and attach into the bressumer for added strength. Iron rods are also shown connecting gallery and roof beams, and the section shows rods arranged horizontally to connect pieces of oak together. At the bottom is a plan of an iron post going through soft and hard wood of the roof, and connected by metal rods and plates


to a scale


Newington Church / No.23 / (copied 26th Augst. 1823) Ironwork supporting the Roof / Cast Iron [.....] of Stand / Plate over cap / Cap / Circular wrought Iron Bar / Elevation of Cast Iron Standard with Oak Braces / Elevation of Cast Iron Standard / Profile / Section thro' the Centre of Arch / Finished Plaster Profile / Oak Brace / Bressumer / Gallery Roof Beam / Raising Plate / Centre Roof Beam and some additional measurements in pencil

Signed and dated

  • January 1823
    Lincoln's Inn Fields / Jany. 1823

Medium and dimensions

Pencil, pen, red pen, washes of blue, violet, dark yellow and yellow, pricked for transfer on wove paper (742 x 523)


Possibly Mee, Arthur Patrick (1802--1868), draughtsman
In the Soane Office Day Books only Arthur Mee is recorded as working on Sections for the church in January 1823, and certain letter forms such as the upper case -N and lower case -s conform to those used by Mee


The arrangement, and composition of the drawing are remarkably similar to SM 54/4/18 for Holy Trinity Church Marylebone, and the drawing would virtually be replicated for St Johns, Bethnal Green (SM 47/5/21). Soane was using the same basic designs for specific elements on both churches, even if the hand producing them is different.

The use of iron pillars supports the timber for the roof, and also the arches forming the arcade at gallery level. Dean observed the use of iron in this situation as enabling the plaster covering to appear 'almost as thin as a paper chain'. Dean also noted this feature enabled Soane to make the arches as thin as the metal support would allow, and push the nave ceiling as high as it could go to maximise light.


Dean, 2006, p. 89
Port, 2006, p. 145 fig. 103



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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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