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  • image SM vol. 67/4

Reference number

SM vol. 67/4


[47] Design for the Drawing Room, 3 July 1802


Plan and laid out wall elevations with details of mouldings


bar scale of 1/3 inch to 1 foot


(in Soane's hand) Plan of Drawg Room / Great Room / Mr J Whitmore, leave a / Margin of / two feet wide, This plan shewn to Mr Thornton / & approved, 6 or 9 inches if / possible, 6 or 9 inches, Qy Bookcases to be / made in Town by / the height of the bookcase / determined by the / height of the door, B (3 times) and some dimensions given

Signed and dated

  • 3 July 1802
    July 3d 1802

Medium and dimensions

Pen, sepia and pink washes on laid paper, bound into volume (582 x 687)


Soane Office, with alterations by Soane


Shown in this drawing is Soane's design for the Library - also known as the 'Drawing Room' or the 'Great Room' - at the centre of the house on the ground floor. The room has two entrances on either side of a chimneypiece that has a mirror above. Opposite are three full-height windows providing maximum daylight. The short walls have bookcases with recessed arches containing busts and globes above. Soane has altered the design on one side of the room so that above the centre of the bookcases is an attic feature with incised pilasters, urns and ? lions.

The reference to 'J Whitmore' is interesting. This must be John Whitmore (1750-1826), who sat on the Building Committee of the Bank of England and was its Governor from 1808 to 1810. Soane completed work for Whitmore at 8 Frederick Place, City of London, in 1798-9 totalling £987.5.0, and paid for and organised the funeral of Whitmore's wife in 1806. Possibly the design for the Library was originally made for Whitmore's house in Frederick Place and subsequently re-used and approved by Thornton for his own house, but this seems unlikely.



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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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