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  • image SM 40/2/25

Reference number

SM 40/2/25


[5] Design for the ground floor, 21 June 1801


Plan of the ground floor


bar scale of 1/5 inch to 1 foot


Messrs Praeds & Co / Fleet Street, Design for the proposed Banking House, labelled: Lobby, (pencil) Door, (pencil) Paying Counter, (pencil) Writing Desk, 27.0, 5.0, Lobby, 18.0, 15.6, Lobby & / Water Closet / over it, 9 feet / by / 12 feet, (in Soane's hand) Mem. June 21 1801 / Breakfasted with Lord Buckingham / & shewed him several plans & this was what / his L app[rove]d of, One of the Plans

Signed and dated

  • 21 June 1801
    June 21 1801 and 1801

Medium and dimensions

Pen, pencil and sepia wash, pricked for transfer within triple ruled black wash border on wove paper (635 x 523)


Henry Hake Seward or Thomas Sword


This drawing shows several alterations to the previous design (drawing [2]). The west wall of the 'shop', rather than the east wall, is now curved. The building has been made deeper and a lobby and a closet have been inserted between the front and back parlours. The staircase is now straight rather than geometric and a lobby and two other rooms have been added behind the neighbouring property belonging to Messrs North, Hoare & Co. In pencil are suggestions for the positioning of the paying counter and the writing desk, at right angles to the front of the building. Also shown in pencil - probably in the hand of Soane - is a suggestion for altering the shape of the front parlour wall so that it becomes straight rather than curving inwards to the back of the room.

A memorandum in Soane's hand records that on 21 June Soane 'breakfasted with Lord Buckingham / & shewed him several plans & this was what / his L[ordship] app[rove]d of''. However, Soane was unhappy with the plan and produced an alternative design that was approved later (q.v. drawing [9]). The reasons for and extent of Buckingham's involvement in the new building are not clear.



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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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