East Wing in Detail
(Fig 1 below) The courtyard to the East (right) wing is marked "Stableyard".
Working clockwise starting from the South East room (bottom right, just above
the circular stamp of the Sir John Soane's Museum) the rooms are labelled :-
Hen House 8 by 16, Calves 7 by 16, Cow House 20 by 16, Stable 16 by 15, Stable
16 by 24, Dairy 16 by 11'6 (This is the oval room), Pales (sic. pails ? the
small circular room off this), Scullery (?) 8.6 by 11.6, Wash House & Laundry,
The upper level of the East Wing seems to have been mainly
hayloft, with rooms for farm hands, dairy maids and stable boy etc.
"U" shaped East Wing. Detail of Plan Fig 4
above. The courtyard on the East side is marked Stableyard. The plan shows a
cowhouse on the South side, but Fig 4 shows large arched openings in this wall,
as if to accommodate a cart, so presumably the cows were located elsewhere
East Wing. View from Roof of the House. This
shows how the turrets that appear to stand four square from ground level are
actually formed by wall projections.
East Wing. South Elevation. The view is looking North
East. The bowed wall on the left is the South screen wall of the
East Wing. Courtyard. This view, taken looking
South West Shows how the turrets are used at each of the corners to contain and
frame the parts of the building
West Wing - in Detail
Starting from the South West (bottom left) room, the rooms are (working
anti-clockwise) labelled (Fig 1 below):-Coachman 10.5 by 16, Slaughter
House 18 by 16, Day & Week (?) Larder 15 by 11, Cooks Pantry 9 by 5, Scullery 16
by 8 1/2, Kitchen 16 by 20, Butler 11 1/2 by 8 1/2, Business Room 16 by 11,
Sherry (?) room (circular room in corner turret), Dress(?) room 10 by 11,
coachouse 10 1/2 by 16
The upper level of the West Wing seems to have been mainly
servants quarters, other than the South part which, as can be seen in Fig. 6
below, appears to have been used for loft and storage spaces
"U" shaped West Wing. Detail of Fig 1 above.
This clearly shows how the links between the wing and the house and between
wings via the curved corridor and loggia worked. As well as kitchen and related
accommodation, the plan also shows a slaughter house and two coach houses on
this side. Presumably the horses, kept in the stables in the East wing, would
have been walked around each time a carriage was required
Ariel view from roof of the House. This view
shows the monopitch roof over the West Wing, and the East side fronting onto the
West Wing South Side. A horizontal emphasis
is set up by the string course but this is contained by the verticality of the
turrets at corners.
West Wing Corner. There are turrets at each
of the corners of the U shaped block, giving four down the West side which march
off in martial fashion.
West Courtyard from the South West. This courtyard
and the rooms around it would have been the centre of activity for the domestic
West Courtyard South Side. There are a pair of
Diocletian Windows in the upper storey. The right hand one is over the door to
the coach house on this side.
West Block North Side. There is a blind arcade of
three arched recesses on this elevation, in contrast to the single arched recess
on the South side.
The entrance courtyard is perhaps one of the most interesting parts of the
design for this building.
The house is screened from the South by the fortress-like side wings and the
convex wall enclosing the courtyard between them with the arched gate placed
centrally on the axis of the house. The South side of the house is only revealed
once you are through the courtyard gate. What is most immediately striking is
that the house looks like a castle keep, with massive square and circular
turrets that form the outer walls. There is a great contrast between the massive
scale of these elements and the delicacy of the front door screen and the
miniature scale of the stone details in the courtyard
The front entrance screen is in three parts, with Corinthian pilasters
separating the door from casement windows on either side. The pilasters support
an entablature, over which is a lunette window within a flattened arch. The
window has wonderfully delicate radiating glazing bars and tracery. The shallow
arch, flattened as though by the weight of the building over, adds to the
impression of the massiveness of the walls of the house.
On the South side of the courtyard, what on the outside formed the convex
walls on either side of the gate are revealed to be open loggias embracing the
space. These terminate in a miniature turret on either side of the entrance
gate. There is an insistent symmetry to the composition which determines the
plan form of the courtyard. The curve of the wall of the two parts of the loggia
on either side of the gate to the courtyard are mirrored by the curved walls on
the North side of the courtyard. While it is not immediately apparent what is
behind this walls, they take the form of a blind arcades, the arches of which,
while they contain windows, also mirror and correspond to the open arches of the
loggia opposite. (These walls are actually the outer walls of the corridors on
either side linking the service wings to the house).
The courtyard is contained to the East and West by the walls of the side
wings. Centrally positioned in the West wall of the courtyard is a tripartite
Venetian window opening to the kitchen. Opposite on the East wall of the
courtyard are corresponding blank windows - the stables would not have merited a
At the corners of the curved arcaded corridor connecting the
wings to the house are miniature bartizans. As well as being sculptural
elements, their function is to terminate the arcades and the arcaded loggia
opposite with a visual accent.
The bartizan was originally a defensive feature of medieval
castles. They allowed defenders a better field of view for firing on an
attacking force below, while keeping them protected. Clearly this bartizan, only
about 4 feet high, has lost all practical purpose of this sort. It has become an
expression of the architectural vocabulary of the Castle Style that Adam is
using for this building. Used here it a piece of sculpture, but is not just
To the 18th Century mind these stone details, derived from
the vocabulary of medieval castles, would have "meaning", resonating with 18th
Centrury concepts of the romanic and picturesque. Beyond this there is also a
subtle game being played to amuse us. Because the bartizans and machicolations
(small arches under the string course) have been scaled down so dramatically
from their "normal" proportions, the visitor is suddenly a giant in this
Lilliputian courtyard. Miniature archers might be expected to fire at any minute
from behind the miniature parapets in defense of the house.
The miniaturisation contrasts with and exaggerates the
massive scale of the house itself with its huge turrets ascending above the