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  • image Image 1 for SM (31) 33/1/4
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Reference number

SM (31) 33/1/4


Design for the entrance front, 11 May 1793


31 Elevation and wall-plan


bar scale of 1/4 inch to 1 foot


The Marquiss of Buckingham, Elevation of Buckingham House in Pallmall; (verso) Marquiss of Buckingham / Pall Mall

Signed and dated

  • Great Scotland Yard May 11th 1793

Medium and dimensions

Pencil, pen and grey and blue washes, within single-ruled border on wove paper with one fold mark (640 x 542)


Soane office


The house has seven bays on three storeys and is set back from the street behind a paved area. The Doric portico bridges from the house to the street and is surrounded on both sides by an iron railing that continues to the edges of the site. The railing has a lozenge and rosette pattern and it is supporting four lamp posts with the same decorative motif. The front of the house has a rusticated ground floor and plain first and attic storeys. The built facade was clad in Portland stone. Overhead, the balustraded parapet is interrupted at its centre with a Coade sculpture of Buckingham's coat of arms, supplied to Soane at a cost of forty five guineas (P. Inskip, p. 19).

The plain street front was typical of London houses. In Soane's 10th lecture at the Royal Academy, he showed his students various houses, including a drawing of Buckingham House, stating: 'None of these facades lead us to expect any internal grandeur; they only present a melancholy picture of the want of regard to architectural effect in the exterior of buildings' (Watkin, p. 630).

The drawing was made at Great Scotland Yard, where Soane worked as Clerk of the Works to St James's, Whitehall and Westminster, from October 1790 to February 1794.


D. Watkin, Sir John Soane: the Royal Academy lectures, Cambridge, 2000, p. 630; P. Inskip, 'Soane and the Grenvilles', Apollo Magazine, April 2004, p. 19.



Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: drawings@soane.org.uk

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.

Browse (via the vertical menu to the left) and search results for Drawings include a mixture of Concise catalogue records – drawn from an outline list of the collection – and fuller records where drawings have been catalogued in more detail (an ongoing process).