• This is part of a set of John Vanbrugh drawings for Kings Weston at the Yale Center for British Art (B1977.14.1235–39). Kings Weston was one of Vanbrugh’s smaller commissions but also one of his finest. The house was built at the peak of the architect’s career, as he was completing Blenheim Palace and Castle Howard. Edward Southwell, a moderate Tory and chief secretary to the lord lieutenant of Ireland, commissioned the design in 1710 to replace the existing sixteenth-century house. Built on a hillside overlooking the Bristol Channel, Kings Weston has a compact plan and a roofline characteristic of Vanbrugh’s style. The exterior has a monumental simplicity, with a restrained decorative scheme that is punctuated by a bold portico of Corinthian pilasters and a whimsical arcaded chimney stack. Inside, the house circulates around the central stairwell. Plans and an elevation of the building were published in Colen Campbell’s first volume of Vitruvius Britannicus (1715). The house was altered by Robert Mylne from 1763. The building sits on a slight slope so that the basement is more exposed to the west, and this plan shows the groin-vaulted basement, accessed by two secondary staircases. Alterations in pencil show partitions added to rooms in the southeast and northwest corners. Curiously, the verso of the sheet has rough floor plans for a small villa with four rooms on the ground floor and two overhead, the front and rear having projecting center bays. The building is unidentified. Another rough plan on the verso shows a canted wall surrounding a window or door, with a bead molding at the corners.
  • Dimension height :: 37.1cm
  • Dimension width :: 47.1cm
  • Located in :: Not on view
  • Located in :: YCBA, 222, C 20, U-V
  • Located in :: Yale Center for British Art
  • Object type :: drawing
  • Subject Concept :: Baroque
  • Subject Concept :: Palladian
  • Subject Concept :: architectural subject
  • Subject Concept :: basement
  • Subject Concept :: country house
  • Subject Concept :: floor plans
  • Subject Place :: Bristol
  • ...
  • Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
  • Kings Weston, Bristol: Basement Plan