Last year I was lucky enough to visit Little Thakeham, one of Sir Edwin Lutyens' best houses. Constructed in 1902 for Ernest Blackburn, it marks the transition in Lutyens' interests from the sensual and romantic materiality of his neo-vernacular work to the more cerebral satisfaction of classical design.
Although it is only just over 100 years old, it seems much older, not only because of the way the stone has weathered, but also because Lutyens caught here the essence of the quiet seventeenth century manor houses so beloved of architects of his generation.
The design is subtle in its combination of Tudor forms and details with an overall symmetry and Classical design.
Lutyens himself almost never sketched from life after his early years, being (I suspect) blessed with an almost photographic memory. However, I find sketching to be the best way to record my own impression of the building in front of me, or to express an idea with a client.