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  • image SM volume 165/ fo. 133 (unnumbered)

Reference number

SM volume 165/ fo. 133 (unnumbered)


Survey of Windsor Castle Ditch on south side of Windsor Castle, pursuant to an order of 28 September 1692


3 Plan


100 feet to just under 2 3/8 inches (60 mm)


By Hawksmoor in pen and brown ink, Scale of Feet., beneath scale, and within area of Ditch marked D, Greens Garden; and in red ink within adjacent area, Arnold Thompson, and with letters A to K on plan; and with legend at bottom right-hand corner: A The way to the Parke. / B the way in to the Castle / C the way in to the tarras at the upper Gate / D the Ditch / E the timber yard / F the posts and Railes / G the way in to the towne / H the well / I the way to the tennice Court / K the Lower Gate to the Castle.

Signed and dated

  • 28 December 1692

Medium and dimensions

Pen with brown and red inks over pencil under drawing and squaring; on thick laid paper, folded into volume, 353 x 655




Strasbourg Lily / 4WR = PVL monogram


The area of the Windsor Castle Ditch shown on the plan corresponds to that shown on the left-hand side of a plan and elevation by Hawksmoor of a proposal for remodelling the Upper Ward of the castle in 1698 (see Geraghty, The Architectural Drawings of Sir Christopher Wren, 2007, cat. nos. 299, 300). The plan is concerned with the area of land within the Ditch rather than with the plan of the walls themselves. Thus the bases of the two bastions to the right of the Lower Gate are shown as square rather than curved. The pencilled grid of squares on which the plan is drawn does not relate to the scale beneath the plan, since the square are not in tens or feet. It was a devise for transferring the plan from another sheet, similarly squared, by means of divider prick marks.

The order relating to this plan is on fo. 132 v. (28 September 1692). Wren's response is on fo. 134 (28 December 1692). The area that is the subject of the petition in the order (that of Arnold Thompson) is outlined in red ink on two of its four sides.The scale bar itself is marked out as a bar of parallel lines, to create 10 feet divisions vertically and horizontally. The sloping parallel lines in the right-hand box facilitate the calculation of areas in 1/10 parts of 10 feet square. The device is found on sectors and slide rules in the period (see A. Gerbino and S. Johnston, Compass & Rule: Architecture as Mathematical Practice in England, 1500-1750, p. 00, fig. 00).


Wren Society, XVIII, pp. 91-92



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