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  • image Image 1 for SM (20) 28/7/11, (21) 28/7/16
  • image Image 2 for SM (20) 28/7/11, (21) 28/7/16
  • image Image 3 for SM (20) 28/7/11, (21) 28/7/16
  • image Image 4 for SM (20) 28/7/11, (21) 28/7/16
  • image Image 1 for SM (20) 28/7/11, (21) 28/7/16
  • image Image 2 for SM (20) 28/7/11, (21) 28/7/16
  • image Image 3 for SM (20) 28/7/11, (21) 28/7/16
  • image Image 4 for SM (20) 28/7/11, (21) 28/7/16

Reference number

SM (20) 28/7/11, (21) 28/7/16


More or less final design, 1785 (2)


20 Plan of the Bedchamber Story with amendments and additions 21 Elevation of the Entrance Front with the Alterations and with sketch details of cornice and of corners


(20) bar scale of 2/11 in to 1 ft (21) bar scale of 2/9 in to 1ft


(20) as above, Closet (twice), Bed, dimensions given and (verso, Baldwin) Mr Dillingham / Plan of Bed Chamber floor (21) as above, (against cornice, pencil, Soane) See Desgodetz (Antoine Desgodetz, 1653-1728, architect and author, Soane had French and English editions of 'Les èdifices antiques de Rome...') (followed by list of instructions in Soane's hand) The first Elevation / with the dome / This Elevation / Bed Ch:[amber] / Attics Plan / (pencil) Basement Story / The 3 designs for Sir / Thos. Beauchamp (Beauchamp-Proctor of Langley Park) / Mr Yorke Lodges (Hammels Park, Hertfordshire q.v.) / both front / & plan / Adml Rowley, (Joshua Rowley, Tendring Hall) 3 Elevations / Mr Gooch's Plans / & Elevations (Revd John Gooch, Saxlingham Rectory), some dimensions given and (verso, Baldwin) Mr Dillingham / Enterance (sic) Front

Signed and dated

  • (21) Jany: 1785

Medium and dimensions

(20) Pen and sepia washes, brown pen, pencil, hatching, some erasures, partly pricked for transfer on laid paper with three fold marks (586 x 462) (21) pen and sepia washes, pencil, brown pen, shaded, erasures, within quadruple-ruled and wash border on laid paper with three fold marks (446 x 562)


(20-21) Soane, John Sanders (pupil 1784-90) see Notes below


(20) I Taylor, fleur-de-lis within crowned cartouche with GR below (21) J Whatman, and fleur-de-lis within crowned cartouche and below, ornate W


Drawing 20, and also drawings 8, 9 and 15, are the only surviving drawings for Letton Hall to show the bed chamber and/or attic floors. They do not correspond with the published 'Plan of the Attic Story' and 'Plan of the Chamber Story' (plate 9, Plans, elevations and sections of buildings executed in the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk .... 1788 (i.e.1789) though drawing 20 is close (bed chamber plan) but with later sketched-in embellishments including a corridor with a decorative ceiling.
Drawing 21 for the front or west elevation is close, except for the treatment of the cornice and corners and the decorative details, to the elevation published (plate 7) in Soane's Plans, elevations and sections of buildings erected in the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk ...1788 (i.e.1789).
The drawings illustrate rather well how Soane set his first pupil to work. Having begun in the office on 1 September 1784, by January of the following year, the young John Sanders was presumably told to copy Soane's plan of the bedroom floor. Carefully pricking though the plan of the staircase, Sanders produced his copy with the room dimensions labelled. Soane then experimented with alcoves to the front room, a corridor and, using an eraser, fitted in more closets, adding some further dimensions. Copying the entrance elevation proved more difficult for Sanders and the eraser has almost penetrated the paper. Soane's sketch details for the cornice and the instruction to 'See Desgodetz' (Antoine Desgodetz, Les Edifices antiques, 1779 etc) along with a list of drawings probably to be copied by Sanders, and a list of expenses make it clear that Sanders had to begin again on a fresh drawing of the Letton Hall front.


P.du Prey, John Soane: the making of an architect, 1982, pp.286-7 (discussion of drawing 21)



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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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