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Sir John Vanbrugh, 1664–1726

Kings Weston, Bristol: Ground Floor Plan

Former Title(s):

Kings Weston - Ground floor plan

ca. 1710
Materials & Techniques:
Pen and brown ink on medium, slightly textured, cream wove paper
Sheet: 14 9/16 x 18 9/16 inches (37 x 47.1 cm)

Inscribed in pen and brown ink, center: "g" (twice); and dimensions given in pen and brown ink

Watermark: IV and fleur-de-lis within crowned cartouche and W below

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Drawing & Watercolors-Architectural
Prints and Drawings
Subject Terms:
architectural subject | Baroque | country house | floor plans | Palladian
Associated Places:
Associated People:
Vanbrugh, Sir John (1664–1726), playwright and architect
Accessible by appointment in the Study Room [Request]
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IIIF Manifest:

This is part of a set of John Vanbrugh drawings for Kings Weston drawings 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 principal rooms on the ground floor were on the south entrance front, facing views of the Bristol Channel. The floor circulated around the central stairwell with a magnificent flying staircase. The stair led to a first-floor gallery. The north end of the building had two bedroom suites.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2014

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