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Felbridge, Surrey: unexecuted design for a chapel for James Evelyn, 1786 (2)

Signed and dated

  • 1786


The simple, symmetrical design for a chapel with internal dimensions of 36 x 18 feet has a pedimented Doric porch at the west end, three semicircular-arched windows to the north side, a semicircular-arched south door flanked by semicircular-arched windows and, at the east end, a smaller semicircular-arched window beneath a wide Diocletian window below an open-bed pediment. Internally, the chancel and Mr Evelyn's pew are each framed by a pair of Doric columns and pilasters.
Soane's Order Book 2 has an entry under 7 May 1787 (p.70) viz. 'Mr Evelyn Calld & wishes / Mr Soane to make out a drawg / of end of Chapel & call on him / at Bennet St St James'. Evelyn called a week later '& wishes / Mr Soane would make a sketch for his Chapel ...' (p.82).

An entry in Soane's Account Book 1781-86 reads: '1786 / May 25th a Jo[urney] to Felbridge to / design a Chapel'.

Soane's Ledger A has two entries dated 21 June and 24 July 1786 viz 'Left at the Half Moon Inn in the Boro' / 1 ^ fair Plan & 4 Elevations on a sheet of / paper of a Design for a Chapel / 1 Section of do on ½ sheet of paper' and 'Sent another fair ^ drawing of a design for the Chapel / with the particulars & Estimate of / the same / Making another Estimate of the quantity / of Brick & timber &c ....... / Jan: 28: 1788 [estimate sent] Ag[ain] Sep. 1 1789 / [estimate] Sent Ag:[ain] [estimate sent again] July 30 1792' A sum of '8.8.0' for the designs is noted. The implication of the re-sending of the estimate three times without result is that Evelyn had lost interest in the commission.

Jill Lever, April 2011



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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Contents of Felbridge, Surrey: unexecuted design for a chapel for James Evelyn, 1786 (2)