Explore Collections Explore The Collections
You are here: CollectionsOnline  /  [1] Design for an observatory tower, 1773, unexecuted


  • image SM Adam volume 34/96

Reference number

SM Adam volume 34/96


[1] Design for an observatory tower, 1773, unexecuted


Three plans and an elevation of a four-storey, octagonal tower, containing a cantilevered spiral staircase, with a cylindrical void in the well, and with a rusticated ground storey, with arched windows and a door surmounted by a fanlight all set within relieving arches, and with a first storey with the bays articulated by engaged columns, and with oval medallions over each window, and with a monopteral Ionic colonnade around the second storey, surmounted by a frieze of festoons, and with a fourth storey composed of a four-bay drum, surmounted by a dome and a lantern with a weather vane


bar scale of 2 1/4 inches to 10 feet


Observatory for Isaac Buxton Esqr (verso) Elevation of an / Observatory / This should be put Eleventh (in red pen) / Observatory for Isaac Buxton Esqr

Signed and dated

  • 22/05/1773
    Adelphi May 22d 1773.

Medium and dimensions

Pen and pencil within a double ruled border on laid paper (457 x 232)


Adam office hand, either Joseph Bonomi or Robert Adam




Bolton, 1922, Volume II, Index p. 53
King, 2001, Volume II, p. 215
For a full list of literature references see scheme notes



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).