By 1800 Soane had built himself a successful career, inherited a fortune, gained a young family and built his own town house at No. 12 Lincoln's Inn Fields. The next thing he wanted was a house in the country – to confirm his position in society and to provide space for his ever expanding collection of art and artefacts. He first bought a plot of land at Acton, early in 1800.
Perspective of the entrance front and service wing
Henry Hake Seward
Pen and coloured washes on paper
14/2/1 (Pitzhanger drawing 64)
The view shows the old house, with Dance's wing on the far left. The main three-storey part of the house was approached by a driveway. Prior to Soane's purchase in May 1800 it had been inhabited by the Gurnell family.
This kind of view was often made for Soane as a record when he intended to alter or demolish a building. In this case, all but the Dance wing would be demolished. Soane may have kept that part of the house for nostalgic reasons, given that he had worked on it under Dance.