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  • image SM Adam volume 51/14

Reference number

SM Adam volume 51/14


[9] Design for a bridge, 1758-70, unexecuted


Elevation of a bridge, set within a landscape, composed of a large rusticated central segmental arch, flanked by smaller rusticated segmental arches, each with rosettes in the spandrels, and surmounted by balustrading, and the balustrading with a central tablet containing arms and swags, and surmounted by a sculpted reclining figure of Bacchus with a cornucopia, and the bridge is supported by four piers containing urn-filled niches, surmounted by sculpted lions and sphinxes, and with abutments terminating in pedestals supporting obelisks


to a scale


Design of a Bridge Proposed to be built at Fonthill in Wiltshire the Seat of William Beckford Esquire (underwritten in pencil) / The Center Arch is 30 Feet Daimtr the two Side Arches 16 feet / The Center Arch raises 10ft 6in from the Line of the Water to top of Arch / The Side Arches rises 7ft 6in from the Line of the Water to top of Arch / N.B. The Ground is Raised 6 Inches at each end above the Level of the Water

Signed and dated

  • 1758-1770
    Date range: 1758-70

Medium and dimensions

Pen, pencil and wash on laid paper (1616 x 490)


Adam office hand, possibly William Hamilton


Bolton, 1922, Volume II, Index p. 13
King, 2001, Volume II, p. 218
For a full list of literature references see scheme notes.



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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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