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  • image SM volume 109/70

Reference number

SM volume 109/70


[8/4] Detailed study for the plan of the peristyle and dome of the chapel at two levels, preparatory for [8/5] and [8/6]


Quarter-plan, at levels of square outer turrets and circular peristyle


10 feet to 1 inch


By Hawksmoor, in pen and brown ink, beneath plan, Tholi planities. / superioris et Inferioris / Scale 10 f in one inch, and with numbers on, and against, column plans, 3, and 2, for diameters of lower and upper columns of the peristyle and dome; and with letters A at the ends of the two radial lines within the plan of the drum; and in brown ink by C19 hand at bottom right (top right in volume), 70.

Signed and dated

  • Undated, but datable 1711

Medium and dimensions

Pen and brown ink, over graphite under-drawing; originally one sheet of laid paper, (A), with small flap of laid paper, (B), attached by paste and two lumps of sealing wax to top left-hand edge of sheet; this flap backed by a C19 reinforcing strip of wove paper, 80 mm wide, (C), running the length of the left side of the sheet, and overlapping the main sheet by 8 mm; the whole sheet glued on the right side to 109/69 and both sheets attached on their top sides to the guard in the volume (but previously stitched to a volume on its bottom side); 346 x 330, comprising (A) 346 x 264; (B) 120 x 92; (C) 342 x 80.




On the verso of the flap there is a smaller-scale preliminary study for a pier mass with two pairs of columns on each side, possibly related to the corner turrets of the tower design at 109/73.


(A) IHS (rest cut off); (C) RP (rest cut off)


This quarter-plan is preparatory for two more carefully finished plans, drawn by John James, of the entire lower and upper levels of the dome peristyle, [8/5] and [8/6]. Hawksmoor's quarter-plan is divided into two eighth parts, the upper one showing the upper drum or attic of the dome. Both eighth-part plans provide enough information to generate complete plans.

The plan of the dome and corner turrets in this study is a refinement of that shown both in the plan of the chapel, [8/1], and in the south elevation at Castle Howard (Wren Society, XVII, pl. 51). Hawksmoor has changed the turrets from a square central mass with eight surrounding columns on an octagonal plan to an open square core of four corner piers, linked by arches, with pairs of columns spanning the angles. Beyond these columns on the diagonal axes are square plinths drawn in dotted outlines to indicate that they are at a lower level. The inner angles of the turrets would have joined the peristyle of the dome in arched openings, as in the Castle Howard elevation. In a refinement of the earlier designs for the chapel, [8/1, 2 and 3], Hawksmoor has set the four-column porticoes closer to the peristyle of the dome on each side and spaced their columns evenly.


Downes 1979, cat. no. 341 Wren Society, VI, pl. 40, centre left



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