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Sophie Mcilwaine is an artist specialising in highly detailed pencil images of architectural subjects. Trained in Architecture and Building History at Cambridge University, Sophie is fascinated by the stories contained within a building.

She combines traditional hand drawing techniques with a practical and theoretical understanding of architectural history.


After graduating in Architecture from Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, Sophie worked for Richard Griffiths Architects in London, collaborating on highly sensitive restoration projects including Hawksmoor's St Alfege Church, Bedales School and The Charterhouse Great Chamber. She has also worked as a designer and consultant for contemporary architectural practices in London and Devon.

In 2018, Sophie's passion for the stories behind historic structures led to a Master's degree in Building History at Cambridge. As well as a broad knowledge of British Architectural History, this required practical building investigation and rigorous documentary research. Sophie's later research has focused on the Georgian Period, and she gained a Distinction for her dissertation on Picturesque Villas and Landscapes on the River Dart.

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Now based in Devon, Sophie works on commissioned drawings of architectural subjects around the world, alongside consultancy work on historic buildings and landscapes. She is passionate about the conservation of historic buildings, and is an active member of the SPAB, Vernacular Architecture Group, Georgian Group and National Trust.


Sophie's article, ‘The Changing Nature of the Villa on the Dart Estuary 1769-1849’, was recently published in The Georgian Group Journal 2022, the authoritative journal of record for early modern architecture in Britain between 1660 and 1840.


It aims to highlight the mysteries and contradictions of these romantic retreats, built to escape from the increasingly industrialised world of the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth century.

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