Understanding Georgian & Regency London Houses

Building the House

This section looks at the way Georgian and Regency London Houses were built. We see a drawing made by one of Soane’s assistants to record the process of building. We see a drawing for a roof truss by George Dance the Younger, one of Soane’s teachers.

There is a drawing of the dangerous process of working with molten lead, which gives a good idea of the dangers in the building trade in the Georgian and Regency period.

Collections | Georgian & Regency | Building the House
A Roof Truss, 33 Hill Street

A Roof Truss, 33 Hill Street


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This is a drawing for part of a roof and shows the timbers which make up the roof truss. (see drawing Construction). It was drawn by George Dance the Younger (see drawing Alfred Place). The house it was intended for was No. 33 Hill Street in Westminster. Dance had worked for its owner, Sir Francis Baring on his country house, Stratton Park in Hampshire, so it would have been natural for him to ask Dance to work on his London house as well. It would have been common for the wealthy in the Georgian period to own houses in London as well as the country.

Dance made improvements to the existing house in Hill Street including providing more light in the staircases and amenities which included warm-air heating in the entrance hall. He also formed a new library on the ground floor and added a new roof for which this is the design. Dance took care with this drawing to show clearly all the different parts and drew shadows to explain more clearly how the roof was to be built. Much of the work like this roof truss was hidden when the slates were put on and the house was finished but it still had to be carefully designed and built.