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  • image SM volume 165, fo. 156

Reference number

SM volume 165, fo. 156


Alterations to create Bishops' Robing Room in House of Lords, April 1695


5 Plan


10 feet to 1 7/16 inch (37 mm) (drawn scale)


By Hawksmoor in pen and brown ink, New Roomes at Westminstr for the Bishops; and with numbering on scale

Signed and dated

  • early April 1695

Medium and dimensions

Pen and brown ink over pencil, with ink, pencil and red chalk shading; on thin writing paper, now browned and torn at the edges, and glued to a slip in the gutter of the volume; 354 x 225.




countermark: HD monogram


Wren was asked on 1 April 1695 to provide some convenient Apartment near the House of Lords where the Archbishop and other bishops could robe and unrobe themselves (fo. 155 v.). Hawksmoor's sketch plan of the range of rooms on the eastern (river) side of the House of Lords in the Palace of Westminster shows one room with shaded alterations, showing small cupboard-like spaces at each end. In Wren's words (fo. 155 v.), it provides one roome w.th Garrets over and staircase, two Chimneys w.th wains[cott] and some alterations to fitt the new to ye old worke [costing £] 147. The alterations are all marked with red shading. The work involved installing a wall with chimney breasts and flues at right angles to the outer wall.

The plan is orientated with north on the left and the River Thames at the top. The rooms in question are shown on a plan in the Soane Museum dated 1794, copied from an Office-of-Works original by William Benson in 1718 (SM drawer 37/1/25). This plan was redrawn as Fig. 32 in The History of the King's Works, V, 1976 (no. 18, 'Bishops' Room'). The plan shows Wren's new chimney breasts and and a staircase within the partitioned area on the south side of the room.


Wren Society, XVIII, p. 116



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