original diary cover

Soane kept a notebook during the building of Number 13 Lincoln's Inn Fields, now his Museum. We will be publishing the entries day by day to mark the 200th anniversary of this build - follow this link for more details.

August 12th 1812

Transcription & Scan

There is no entry in the notebook for this day.


As mentioned in the entry for August 11th, the builders continued with their work laying the boards for the ground floor.  However, Soane had other concerns.  Before No. 13 was completed Soane had to contend with opposition to the design of the front of his house. While in height and fenestration the new house conformed with its neighbours, Soane gave it what he called a 'loggia', a Portland-stone projection consisting of two tiers of round-headed arches at ground and first floor level. The central bay of the loggia extended upwards to the second floor where it was flanked by two small balconies on the parapets of which were placed two Coade Stone caryatids. The loggia projected 3ft 6in beyond the fronts of the adjoining houses. The district surveyor, William Kinnaird, only 24 years old, immediately objected to this three-storey projection, claiming that it contravened the Building Act. On 12th August Soane noted Kinnard called and behaved impudently. Dorothy Stroud, in her biography of Soane, speculated that at this meeting he 'no doubt … gave the young man a forthright exposition of his own views whereupon the surveyor retaliated by bringing a court action on the ground that Soane had contravened the Building Act' (Sir John Soane: Architect, p. 89].