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IIIF Actions
Colen Campbell, 1676–1729
Lowther House, Westmorland: Lower Ground Floor Plan
Former Title(s):
Designs for a new house, proposed to be built in the second decade of the 18th century. Basement Plan.
between 1718 and 1729
Materials & Techniques:
Graphite, pen and black ink, gray wash, within triple-ruled border on medium, slightly textured, cream laid paper
Sheet: 17 3/4 x 11 5/8 inches (45.1 x 29.5 cm)

Inscribed in pen and black ink, left center: "Coach house", "coach house", "sadleroom"; in pen and black ink, center: "Bulters pantry", "Beer | cellar", "Wine | cellar", "small | beer cellar"; in pen and black ink, lower right: "Dairy", "Scullery", "larder", "Kitchen | 18 | 36", "brewhouse", "washhouse"

Watermark: IV

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 | basements | country house | floor plans | house | Palladian
Associated Places:
Cumbria | England | Europe | United Kingdom | Westmorland
Accessible by appointment in the Study Room [Request]
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IIIF Manifest:

This is one of a set of four surviving drawings at the Yale Center for British Art showing Campbell’s proposal for rebuilding Lowther House for the courtier Henry Lowther, third Viscount Lonsdale (1694–1751) (see also B1977.14.1069–1072). This floor plan shows the basement of the house and the attached office wings. The east wing has stables and coach houses, while the opposing wing contains a kitchen and brew house. Covered walks face the court on both sides. These drawings for Lowther were probably made in 1718 following a fire that damaged much of the original building's central block and west wing. Campbell's proposed house rests partly on the footprint of the former structure, arranged on a north-south axis and between long office wings. As in the old building, the center three bays on both the north and south fronts are brought forward and framed by giant orders. Unlike the former structure, however, Campbell's design follows a Palladian style, with a more compact, squarer plan and a facade that is minimally ornamented and dominated by its prominent portico.

Colen Campbell was probably introduced to the third Viscount Londsdale by Richard Boyle, third Earl of Burlington (1694–1753), a leading figure of the Palladian movement and an important early patron of Campbell. Lord Burlington helped launch the architect's career with introductions to influential and wealthy patrons in London and the north. Campbell made an early attempt to gain Lonsdale's patronage in 1717, when he dedicated to him a design for minor alterations to Lowther House in volume II of Vitruvius Britannicus. The architect’s later design, as shown in the Center’s drawings, was for a more drastic reconstruction, suggesting that it was submitted after the house’s destructive fire. Despite the detailed proposals, Campbell’s designs for Lowther House were never executed. Unfortunately for Campbell, Lonsdale’s finances suffered greatly from the South Sea Bubble crisis in 1720. He sold off more than £26,000 in estates, and he never salvaged the fire-damaged house. In 1806, Lowther House was rebuilt as a castellated mansion designed by Robert Smirke.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2014

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