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  • image SM Adam volume 10/81

Reference number

SM Adam volume 10/81


[7] Preliminary design for the New Town looking towards the river, 1782


Elevation and section of the New Town looking towards the river, with a section of Pulteney Bridge shown at the centre, including a section of each of the two domed and pedimented end pavilions. The bridge is flanked by links which are composed of a central one-and-a-half-storey arched gateway, with a tapering staircase, flanked by paired Doric columns, and surmounted by sculpted trophies. The gateway is flanked by single-storey, single-bay balustraded links, containing oculus windows within relieving arches; and beyond are projecting three-bay blocks which also have an oculus window within a relieving arch in each bay, but the central bay is surmounted by an octagonal attic with a pyramidal roof and a tripartite window. Beyond these link sections there are two-and-a-half-storey twenty-nine-bay blocks with a balustraded roofline; with an arcaded ground storey, containing thermal windows in the upper portion of the arches; and with every fourth bay slightly projecting, and containing a door on the ground storey, articulated by Doric pilasters in the first and second storeys, and surmounted by an urn; and the central bay of the block is surmounted by a domed clock tower


to a scale


Elevation towards the River / Highest flood / Common level of water

Signed and dated

  • 1782
    datable to 1782

Medium and dimensions

Pencil on laid paper (1331 x 224)


Robert Adam


JWHATMAN and two cartouches surmounted by fleur de lis


Bolton, 1922, Volume II, Index p. 3
King, 2001, Volume 2, p. 76
Rowan, 2007, p. 69
For a full list of literature references see scheme notes.



Exhibition history

Vaulting Ambition: The Adam Brothers, Contractors to the Metropolis in the Reign of George III, Sir John Soane's Museum, London, 14 September 2007 - 12 January 2008; The Wilson Art Gallery and Museum, Cheltenham, 19 April - 24 May 2008; Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh, 24 October - 13 December 2008

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).