Sir Robert Smirke, The South Wing, a drawing
The British Museum, London, England, AD 1841
Elevation of one of the three-quarter columns for the South Portico
By 1841 the East Wing, North Wing and half of the West Wing of Sir Robert Smirke's new British Museum building had been completed. Within five years the old Townley Gallery and Montagu House would make way for the rest of the new building.
The South Wing (the columned front of the Museum that you see today) was built during 1846 and 1847. This completed Sir Robert Smirke's quadrangular building, and left a large courtyard in the middle. The inner façades of the four wings were designed in neo-classical style with ornamental porticos.
Here we see the architect's drawing of a three-quarter column in Ionic style. This was one of four columns for the portico that was to face inside the courtyard. The South Portico had to be demolished to make way for the 1877 extension to the Front Entrance Hall. This extension was removed in 1999 when the South Portico was rebuilt in 1999 as part of the Great Court. This drawing was used to help in the reconstruction.