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  • image SM 6/1/21

Reference number

SM 6/1/21


[4] Survey drawing of the ground floor overlaid with a preliminary design, datable to June 1790


Plan of the House at Wimpole; cross section of the house including the proposed drawing room; rough plan of the lantern over the proposed drawing room; rough elevation of a rounded arch and lintel


bar scale of 1/8 inch to 1 foot


as above, The Earl of Hardwicke, plan labelled: Gable end, Privy, 17 from ground of rebate to back, Basement Story, Chapel Vault, Court, lettered A (five times), P (twice), K corresponding to A. all on a level // P.P. on a level & are / about 4'9" higher than A // K. Cistern for Water closet / & Brewhouse, Ascend 9 steps, Larder, one Wind[ow], Brewhouse, washouse, Laundry, dimensions given, (pencil) wide, Brewh[ouse], Bathh[ouse], section labelled (Soane): windows / to / floor, beam / to support Roof, beam / 2.3 / B, A, Corinth[ian]: / fluted, cut / 9 inches / into old / wall & / bring / chimney forward in room A, B turn a brick arch to carry / a wall 2/3 thick above, and dimensions given

Signed and dated

  • June 1790
    datable to June 1790 (see Notes)

Medium and dimensions

Pencil, pen and grey, black and blue washes on laid paper with two fold marks (1670 x 550)


SOANE, Sir John (1754--1837), architect
Soane and Soane office
Soane Office, draughtsman
Soane and Soane office


The survey drawing is overlaid with preliminary designs in pencil for a projecting segmental bay window at the centre of the north front, rounded ends in one of the north-facing rooms, and an additional stairwell in the east court. The plan, as well as Soane's rough section, shows a preliminary design for building a top-lit drawing room in place of the existing common staircase and cluster of subsidiary rooms. Soane's design already considers the room's finishings, specifying fluted Corinthian columns to support the pendentive-domed ceiling. The room is lit by large windows facing north ('windows to floor' indicated on section) and a lantern raised on pendentives. As Ptolemy Dean has noted, the section shows how high the lantern needs to be raised in order to clear the surrounding roof tops.

On the morning of 10 June 1790, Soane and Guibert visited Wimpole and took plans of the house, probably resulting in this survey drawing and drawings 1 to 3 (Journal No 1). Guibert's identity is unknown. According to David Adshead ('Wimpole Architectural Drawings', p.69), the Earl of Hardwicke's account book records that on 12 June 1790 the estate carpenter provided 'Mr. Soam [sic] and his Man the Measures of the House'.



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

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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.

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).