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The Plans, Elevations, And Sections; Chimney-Pieces, and Cielings of Houghton in Norfolk; The Seat of the Rt. Honourable Sr. Robert Walpole; First Lord Commissioner of the Treasury, Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Knt. of the Most Noble Order of the Garter.

RA Collection: Book

Record number



Published by I. Ware., MDCCXXXV.

Physical Description

[1] f., engr. t.pl., 32 [i.e. 28] pl. (nine dble.); 510 mm.

General Note

The 28 plates are numbered irregularly and all but the first of the nine double pl. carry two numbers, as follows: one unnumbered dble. pl., pl. 1/2, 3/4, 5, 6/7, 8/9, 10, 11/12, 13/14, 15/16, 17-22, 23 misnumbered '24', 24-31, 29/30, 31, 32.


[T.pl.] - [Text, 'Nihil opus est mihi, Lector ...'] - [Plates].

Responsibility Note

The unnumbered dble. pl. is signed as engraved by P. Fourdrinier. The numbered plates are signed as designed by T. Ripley (pl. 1-18, and bis pl. 29/30, 31, 32) or W. Kent (pl.19-31), drawn by I. Ware and engraved by P. Fourdrinier (except that pl. 29-31 are signed as both drawn and engraved by I. Ware, and pl. 31 bis is unsigned by an engraver).


ESTC, T42438
Royal Institute of British Architects, British Architectural Library ... Early printed, 4 (2001), no. 3583, p.2360-2.
E. Harris and N. Savage, British Architectural Books (1990), no.911
J. Archer, Literature of British domestic architecture (1985), no. 288.1.
A. Moore, Houghton Hall: the Prime Minister, the Empress and the heritage [exhibition catalogue] (1996)
J. Harris, 'Who designed Houghton?', in Country life, 183 (1989 March 2), p.92-4.

Summary Note

This was the first monograph devoted to a British country-house. The plates show Houghton Hall, built for Sir Robert Walpole between 1722 and 1735 under the direction of Thomas Ripley, from designs by Colen Campbell, James Gibbs and others, with interior decoration by William Kent, architectural relief sculptures by J.M. Rysbrack and stucco by G. Artari. Isaac Ware, draughtsman and publisher of the present work, had been an assistant to Ripley from 1721. (The house also contained a notable collection of paintings and casts, but these are not shown here.)

The plates show plans, elevations and sections of the east, west and 'end' fronts; section of the hall and salone; sections of the staircase; ceilings (one of them showing Artari's representation of the Garter Star, awarded to Walpole in 1726); chimney pieces; plan and elevations of the stables.

Thirty-three of Ware's preparatory drawings are now at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

An issue with corrected numbering of the plates was brought out at some later date - retaining the date of 1735 on the title-plate but adding the words 'and Sold by P. Fourdrinier at the Corner of Cragg's Court Charing Cross'. Another edition was issued in 1760.


A microfilm copy was published in 2003 (Woodbridge, Conn.: Primary Source Microfilm [imprint of Gale Group]).


The front pastedown carries the armorial bookplate of 'Ino. Selwyn Esqr.', and a Royal Academy bookplate inscribed in ink, 'Presented by Mr. E. Vincent Harris 1965'.

Binding Note

18th-century mottled calf; red morocco spine-label lettered 'Ware's Houghton'.

Name as Subject


Architecture - Architecture details - Interior decoration - Mantels - Ceilings - Country houses - Great Britain - Norfolk - Houghton - Houghton Hall - History - 18th century - Palladian
Plans - Elevations - Sections - Great Britain - 18th century
Pictorial works - Great Britain - 18th century


Thomas Ripley, source artist
William Kent, source artist
Isaac Ware, draughtsman, engraver, publisher
Paul Fourdrinier, engraver
Ino. Selwyn, previous owner
E. Vincent Harris RA, previous owner, donor