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  • image Image 1 for SM (3) volume 60/2 (4) volume 60/3
  • image Image 2 for SM (3) volume 60/2 (4) volume 60/3
  • image Image 1 for SM (3) volume 60/2 (4) volume 60/3
  • image Image 2 for SM (3) volume 60/2 (4) volume 60/3

Reference number

SM (3) volume 60/2 (4) volume 60/3


Preliminary designs by George Dance, May 1794 (2)


3 Rough upward interior perspective of a hall with two rows of arches, circular in plan with alcoves, coffered lantern dome with oculus above a lunette-clerestory over tall round-arched openings 4 Rough sectional interior perspective of a rotunda showing an arcade of semicircular-headed arches beneath an umbrella-like dome with decorative ribs extending to a large oculus; rough elevation of dome with lunettes; detail of an arch; (verso) part-plan of a rotunda with a semicircular alcove


3 Sketch by Mr Dance 4 Sketch by Mr G. Dance., (Dance, pencil) Scale One Mile to Foot (sic)

Signed and dated

  • (3-4) datable to May 1794 (see Notes)


(3-4) George Dance (1741-1825)


Soane met with George Dance the week before he submitted his plan to the Building Committee (on 27 May 1794). During that week Soane was still working on alternative designs and it is likely that this was when Dance made the pencil drawings catalogued here. The executed Rotunda had similar round-headed alcoves on the wall and an umbrella-like dome above. The lunette windows in drawing 3 were also used in the final design.


J. Lever, Catalogue of the drawings of George Dance the Younger (1741-1825) and George Dance the Elder (1695-1768), Oxford, 2003. pp. 355-356. cat. [100].1-2.



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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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