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Reference number

(1) SM 38/8/5 (2) SM volume 63/21


Survey with design for a small addition (2)


1 Ground floor plan inscribed (by the later hand of W.L Spiers, 1848-1917, curator 1904-17) 89 Great Russell St 2 Ground floor plan inscribed (pencil) 87 Great Russell Street


(1) bar scale of 1/8 inch to 1 foot (2) bar scale of 1/8 inch to 1½ feet


1 as above, (pencil, rubbed) Great Russell Street / 5th New house from Museum / 40' 9" high / Enter[e]d House Lincolns Inn Fields; The House contains (including the ---- ----- (illegible) / Supr 982' // The House alone - Cube - 37964 / Dressg Room &c - 2552 / [total] 40516 / House, Garden &c contains Supr feet 3866 and dimensions given 2 as above

Signed and dated

  • (1) (feint pencil) 20 Decr 1794

Medium and dimensions

(1) Pen, black, sepia and light blue washes on laid paper (478 x 301) (2) pen, black, sepia and green washes on laid paper (453 x 287)


(1) Frederick Meyer (1775-?, pupil 1791-1796); Thomas Jeans (pupil 1792-1797) (entry in Day Book) (2) Soane office


(1-2) fleur-de-lis above cartouche with bar and below, ornate W


The dimensions given on drawing 1 show the existing house to be 21 feet 6 inches wide and 36 feet 3 inches deep, the overall depth of the site is 95 feet. The proposed addition consists of a water closet and a (dressing ?) room 12 feet x 9 feet 9 inches. Despite the different addresses, drawing 2 may be a record copy of drawing 1 to a larger scale. It is bound into a volume with 127 record drawings for London* houses inscribed in pen on the spine: Plans of Town Houses
The two plans catalogued here are discussed by Ptolemy Dean in his Sir John Soane and London, 2006, p.153 where the client is said to be John Pearse and the drawings are described as designs. Dean includes information from the Soane office archive dated 1792 and 1793 that refers to two houses with a 31 feet frontage and 40 feet 9 inches tall. There is presently a house in Great Russell Street numbered 89 that stands with numbers 90 and 91 on the north west side of the street close to Bloomsbury Street with a frontage of 21 feet 6 inches and of three storeys with basement and attic. On the north-east side of Great Russell Street are houses numbered 77 to 74 so that numbers 88 to 78 were presumably demolished to make way for the forecourt to the British Museum.
*All of the 127 record drawings appear to be London houses though some remain unidentified or (possibly) mis-identified.

Jill Lever, December 2012



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.

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