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T.arulc/i Ftihlithd .hmr I "!• JSOiL.hv J. TarUr. Hir,h Holborn. 






ilantiscape (iattienins* 










By H. REPTON, Esq. 















Hare Street, near Romford, 
Dec. 3i, 1802. 



Seven years have now elapsed since the publication of my 
'' Sketches and Hlntj on Landscape Gardening^'' during which, 
by the continued duties of my profession, it is reasonable to 
suppose much experience has been gained and many prin- 
ciples established. Yet so difficult is the application of any 
rules of Art to the works of Nature, that I do not presume 
to give this Book any higher title, than *' Ohdervatioiid 
tending to eMahluti fixed Principles in the »Art of Landscape 

After various attempts to arrange systematically the matter 
of this volume, I found the difficulties increase with the 
number of the subjects; and although each was originally 
treated with order and method in a separate state^ yet in 
combining many of these subjects, the same order and method 
could not easily be preserved, I have, however, with as 
much attention to arrangement as my professional duties 
would admit, collected such observations as may best vindi- 

cate the Art of Landscape Gardening from the imputation 
of being founded on caprice and fashion: occasionally adding 
such matter as I thought might suit the various taste or 
inclinations of various readers. Some delight in speculative 
opinions, some in experimental facts ; others prefer description, 
others look for novelty, and some, perhaps, for what I hope 
will not be found in this Work, impracticable theories. 

The present volume neither supersedes, nor contradicts 
my former work, neither is it a repetition nor a continuation ; 
but to avoid the oblong and inconvenient shape of that book 
the present volume is printed under a different form and 
title, because I am less ambitious of publishing a book of 
beautiful prints, than a book of precepts : I must therefore 
intreat that the plates be rather considered as necessary than 
ornamental; they are introduced to illustrate the arguments, 
rather than to attract the attention. I wish to make my 
appeal less to the eye, than to the understanding. 

In excuse for the frequent use of the first personal pronoun, 
it should be remembered, that when an author relates his 
own theory, and records his own practice, it is hardly possible 
to avoid the language of egotism. 

W hen called upon for my opinion concerning the im- 
provement of a place, I have generally delivered it in writing, 
bound in a small book, containing maps and sketches to 
explain the alterations proposed : this is called the Red Book 
of the place; and thus my opinions have been diffused over 
the kingdom in nearly two hundred such manuscript volumes. 

From many of these, with the permission of their respective 
proprietors, this volume has been composed; sometimes 
adopting the substance, and sometimes quoting the words of 
the Red Book. 

The severity of criticism is seldom abated in consideration 
of the circumstances under which a work is produced ; yet 
should it be objected that some parts of this volume are 
unequal, the author can plead in excuse, that the whole has 
been written in a carriage during his professional journeys 
from one place to another, and being seldom more than three 
days together in the same place, the difficulty of producing 
this volume, such as it is, can hardly be conceived by those 
who enjoy the blessings of stationary retirement, or a per- 
manent home. 

The Plates are fac similes of my sketches in the original 
Red Bookj, and have been executed by various artists, whose 
names are affixed to each; to whom I thus publickly express 
my acknowledgments, and when tempted to complain of 
delay, disappointment, and want of punctuality in artists, I 
am checked by the consideration that works of genius cannot 
be restricted by time like the productions of daily labour/ 

The necessity of blending Architecture with Landscape 
Gardening, mentioned in my former work, induced me to 

' The art of colouring plates in imitation of drawings has been so far im- 
proved of late, that I have pleasure in recording my obligations to Mr. Clarke, 
under whose directions a number of children have been employed to enrich this 


turn the studies of one of my sons to that auxiliary part 
of my profession ; it is therefore to the assistance of 
Mr. Johi Adey Repton that I am indebted for many valuable 
ornaments to this volume. His name has hitherto been little 
known as an architect, because it was suppressed in many 
works begun in that of another person, to whom I freely, 
unreservedly, and confidentially gave my advice and assist- 
ance, while my son aided with his architectural knowledge 
and his pencil to form plans and designs from which we 
have derived neither fame nor profit; but amongst the me- 
lancholy evils to which human life is subject, the most 
excruciating to a man of sensibility is the remembrance of 
disappointed hope from misplaced confidence. 




In every other polite Art, there are certain established rules or general prin- 
ciples, to which the professor may appeal in support of his opinions ; but 
in Landscape Gardening every one delivers his sentiments, or displays his 
taste, as whim or caprice may dictate, without having studied the subject, 
or even thought it capable of being reduced to any fixed rules. Hence it 
has been doubted, whether each proprietor of his own estate, may not be the 
most proper person to plan its improvement. 

Had the art still continued under'the direction of working gardeners, or 
nurserj^men, the proprietor might supersede the necessity of such landscape 
gardeners, provided he had previously made this art his study; but not, (as it 
is frequently asserted) because the gentleman who constantly resides at his 
place, must be a better judge of the means of improving it, than the professor 
whose visits are only occasional : for if this reason for a preference were granted, 
we might with equal truth assert, that the constant companion of a sick man 
has an advantage over his physician. 

Improvements may be suggested by any one, but the professor only ac- 
quires a knowledge of effects before they are produced, and a facility in 
producing them by various methods, expedients, and resources, the result of 
study, observation, and experience. He knows what can, and what can not 
be accomplished ^vithin certain limits. He ought to know what to adopt. 


and Avhat to reject; he must endeavour to accommodate his plans to the wishes 
of tlie person who consults him," although, in some cases, they may not strictly 
accord with his own taste. 

Good sense may exist without good taste,^ yet, from their intimate con- 
nexion,' many persons are as much oftended at having their taste, as their under- 
standing, disputed ; hence the most ignorant being generally the most obsti- 
nate, I have occasionally found that as " a little learning is a dangerous 
ihing," a little taste is a troublesome one. 

Bolh taste and understanding require cultivation and improvement. 
Natural taste, like natural genius, may exist to a certain degree, but without 
study, observation, and experience, they lead to error: there is, perhaps, no 
circumstance which so strongly marks the decline of public taste, as the 
extravagant applause bestowed on early etlbrts of unlettered and uncultivated 
genius: extraordinary instances of prematurity deserve to be patronised, fos- 
tered, and encouraged, provided they excite admiration from excellence, 
independent of peculiar circumstances ; but the public taste is endangered by 
the circulation of such crude productions as are curious only from the youth 
or ignorance of their authors. Such an apology to the learned will not com- 
pensate for the defects of grammar in Poetry, nor to the scientific artist for 
the defects of proportion and design in Architecture ; while the incorrectness 
of such efforts is hardly visible to the bulk of mankind, incapable of com- 
paring their excellence with works of established reputation. Thus in poetry, 
in painting, and in architecture, false taste is propagated by the sanction given 
to mediocritij. 

• Tlins before a liouse is planned, tlie proprietor must describe the kind of house lie 
wislies to build. The architect is to consider what must be had, and what may be dispensed 
with. He ought to keep his plan as scrupulously within the expence proposed, as within 
the limits of the ground he is to build upon: he is, in short, to enter into the views, the 
wishes, and the ideas of the gentleman who will inhabit the house proposed. 

'' The requisites of taste are well descril)ed by Dr. Beattie, under five distinct heads. 
1. " A lively and correct imagination; '2. the power of distinct apprehension : 3. the capacity 
" of being easily, strongly, and agreeably affected with sublimity, beauty, harmony, correct 
" imitation, &c.; 4. sympathy, or sensibility of heart; and 5. judgment or good sense, which 
" IS the principal thing, and may not very improperly be said to comprehend all the rest." 


Its dangerous tendency, added to its frequency, must plead my excuse 
for tfiking notice of the following vulgar mode of expression : " I do not pro- 
" fess to understand these matters, but I know what pleases me." This may 
be the standard of perfection with those who are content to gratify their own 
taste without inquiring how it may affect others ; but the man of good taste 
endeavours to investigate the causes of the pleasure he receives, and to 
inquire whether others receive pleasure also. He knows that the same prin- 
ciples which direct taste in the polite arts, direct the judgment in morality; 
in short, that a knowledge of what is good, what is bad, and what is indif- 
ferent, whether in actions, in mannei's, in language, in arts, or science, con- 
stitutes the basis of good taste, and marks the distinction between the higher 
ranks of polished society, and the inferior orders of mankind, whose daily 
labours allow no leisure for other enjo3'ments than those of mere sensual, indi- 
vidual, and personal gratification. 

" In most countries novelty, in every form of extravagance, broad humour, 
" and caricatures, afford the greatest delight to the populace. This preference 
" is congenial with their love of coarse pleasures, and distinguishes the mul- 
" titude from the more polite classes of every nation. The inferior orders of 
" society are therefore disqualified from deciding upon the merits of the fine 
" aits ; and the department of taste is consequently confined to persons en- 
" lightened by education and conversant with the world, Avhose views of na- 
" ture, of art, and of mankind, are enlarged and elevated by an extensive 
" range of observation." Rett's Elements of General Knozcledge. 

Those who delight in depreciating the present by comparisons with former 
times, may, perhaps, observe a decline of taste in many of the polite arts ; 
but svirely in architecture and gardening, the present aera furnishes more 
examples of attention to comfort and convenience than are to be found in 
the plans of Palladio, Vitruvius Britannicus, or Le Notre, where, in the dis- 
play of useless symmetry, the requisites of habitation are often forgot. The 
leading feature in the good taste of modern times, is the just sense of gene- 


So difficult is the task of giving general satisfaction, that I am aware I 
sliall cause offence to some by mentioning their places ; to others, by not 
mentioning them: to some, by having said too much, to others, by having 
said too lillle. Yet to establish principles from experience, and theory from 
practice, it was necessary to quote examples; I have therefore prefixed a list 
of those places only to which I refer in the course of the work. 

It will, perhaps, be observed, that some of these places are of great extent 
and importance, whilst othere are so inconsiderable that they might have been 
omitted. But to the proprietor his own place is always important ; and to 
the professor a small place may serve to illustrate the principles of his art: and 
his whole attention and abilities should be exerted, whether he is to build a 
palace or a cottage, to improve a forest or a single field. Well knowing that 
every situation has its facilities and its difficulties, I have never considered 
how many acres I Avas called upon to improve, but how much I could 
improve the subject before me, and have occasionally experienced more 
pleasure and more difficulties in a small flower garden, than amidst the wildest 
scenery of rocks and mountains. 

Some of the places here enumerated are subjects which I have visited only 
once : others from the death of the proprietors, the change of property, the 
difference of opinions, or a variety of other causes, may not, perhaps, have 
been finished according to my suggestions. It would be endless to point out 
the circumstances in each place where my plans have been partially adopted 
or partially rejected. To claim as my OAvn, and to arrogate to myself all that 
I approve at each place, would be doing injustice to the taste of the several 
proprietors Avho may have suggested improvements. On the other hand, I 
should be soiTy, that to my taste should be attributed all the absurdities which 
fashion, or custom, or Avhim, may have occasionally introduced in some of 
these places. I can only advise, I do not pretend to dictate, and, in many 
cases, must rather conform to what has been ill begun, than attempt to pull 
to pieces and re-model the Avhole Work. 

" Non mihi res sed me rebus subjungere conor." 

To avoid the imputation of having fully approved, where I have found it 
necessary merely to assent, I shall here beg leave to subjoin my opinion nega- 
tively, as the only means of doing so without giving offence to those from 
whom I may differ; at the same time, with the humility of experience, I am 


conscious my opinion may, in some cases, be deemed wrong. The same 
motives which induce me to mention what I recommend, will also justify me 
in mentioning what I disapprove; a few observations, therefore, are subjoined 
to mark those errors, or absurdities in modern gardening and architecture, to 
which I have never willingly subscribed, and from which it Avill easily be 
ascertained how much of what is called the improvement of any place in the 
list, may properly be attributed to my advice. It is rather upon my opinions 
in writing, than on the partial and imperfect manner in which my plans have 
sometimes been executed, that I wish my Fame to be established. 


Tliere is no error more prevalent in modern gardening, or more frequently 
carried to excess, than taking away hedges to unite many small fields into one 
extensive and naked lawn, before plantations are made to give it the appear- 
ance of a park ; and Avhere ground is subdivided by sunk fences, imaginary 
freedom is dearly purchased at the expence of actual confinement. 

No. 2. 

The baldness and nakedness round a house is part of the same mistaken 
system, of concealing fences to gain extent. A palace, or even an elegant 
villa, in a grass field, appears to me incongruous; yet I have seldom had suf- 
ficient influence to correct this common error. 

No. 3. 

An approach which does not evidently lead to the house, or which does 
not take the shortest course, cannot be right. 

No. 4. 

A poor man's cottage, divided into what is called a pair of lodges, is a 
mistaken expedient to mark importance in the entrance to a Park. 

No. 5. 

The entrance gate should not be visible from the mansion, unless it opens 
into a court yard. 


No. 6. 

The plantation surrounding a place, called a Belt, 1 have never advised ; 
nor have I ever willingly marked a drive, or walk, completely round the verge 
of a park, except in small villas where a dry path round a person's own field, 
is always more interesting to him than any other walk. 

No. 7. 

Small plantations of trees, surrounded by a fence, are the best expedients 
to form groupes, because trees planted singly seldom grow well ; neglect of 
thinning and of removing the fence, has produced that ugly deformity called 
a Clump. 

No. 8. 

Water on an eminence, or on the side of a hill, is among the most com- 
mon errors of Mr. Brown's followers : in numerous instances I have been 
allowed to remove such pieces of water from the hills to the valleys; but in 
many my advice has not prevailed. 

No. 9. 

Deception may be allowable in imitating the works of nature; thus arti- 
ficial rivers, lakes, and rock scenery, can only be great by deception, and 
the mind acquiesces in the fraud after it is detected: but in works of art 
every trick ought to be avoided. Sham churches, sham ruins, sham bridges, 
and every thing which appears what it is not, disgusts when the trick is 

No. 10. 

In buildings of every kind the character should be strictly observsd. No 
incongruous mixture can be justified. To add Grecian to Gothic, or Gothic 
to Grecian, is equally absurd; and a sharp pointed arch to a garden gate, or 
a dairy window, however fre([uently it occurs, is not less offensive than Grecian 
architecture, in which the standard rules of relative proportion are neglected 
or violated. 

The perfection of landscape gardening consists in the fullest attention 
to these principles, Utilitij, Proportion, and Unity, or harmony of parts to the 



Abington Hall Cambridgeshire John Mortlock, Esq 

Adlestrop Gloucestershire J. H. Leigh, Esq 

Antony Cornwall R. P. Carew, Esq. M. P 

Ashton Court Somersetshire Sir Hugh Smyth, Bart 

'^Aston Cheshire Hon. Mrs. Harvey Aston. . 

Attingham Shropshire Right Hon. Lord Berwick. 

Babworth Nottinghamshire Hon. J. B. Simpson, M. P 

Bank Farm Surry Hon. Gen. St. John 

Bayham Kent Earl Camden 

Betchworth Surry Hon. W. H. Bouverie, M. P 

Blaize Castle , Gloucestershire J. S. Harford, Esq 

Bowood Wiltshire Marquis Lansdown 

Brandsbury Middlesex Hon. Lady Salusbury 

Bracondale Norfolk P. Martinean, Esq 

Brentrey Hill . Gloucestershire Wm. Payne, Esq 

Buokminster Leicestershire Sir Wm. Manners, Bart 

Buistrode Buckinghamshiie His Grace the Duke of Portland. 

Burleiffh on the Hill Rutlandshire Earl Winchelsea 

Catton Norfolk Jer. Ives, Esq , 

Cashiobury Hertfordshire Earl of Essex 

Catchfrench Cornwall Fr.incis Glanville, Esq. M. P. 

Chilton Lodge Berkshire John Pearse, Esq 

Clayberry Hall Essex James Hatch, Esq 

Cobham'Hall Kent Earl Darnley 

Courteen Hall Northamptonshire Sir Wm. Wake, Eart 

Corsham House Wiltshire Paul Cob. Metiiuen, Esq 

Condover Park Shrop^thire Owen Smyth Owen, Esq 

Coombe Lodge Berks and Oxfordshire. . . . Samuel Gardener, Esq 

Cote Bank Gloucestershire. . . . : Wm. Broderip, Esq 

Crewe Cheshire John Crewe, Esq. M. P 

Culford SutFolk Marquis Cornwaliis 

Donnington Park Leicestershire Earl Moira 

Dulwich Casina Surry Richard Shawe, Esq 

DuUingham House Cambridgeshire Colonel Jeatfreson 

Dyrham Park Gloucestershire Wm. Blathwayte, Esq 

Fort Bristol T. Tyndall, Esq 

Garnons Herefordshire J. G. Cottere], Esq. M. P.. . 

Gayhurst Buckinghamshire George Wright, Esq 

Glemham Suffolk Dudley North, Esq. ^L P.. . . 

The Grove Southgate Walker Gray, Esq 

Hasells Bedfordshire Francis Pym, Esq 

Harewood House Yorkshire Right Hon. Lord Harewood. 

Heathfield Sussex Francis Newberry, Esq 

High Legh Cheshire G.J. Legh, Esq 

Hifl Half Essex Sir Wm. Smyth, Bart 

Higham Hills Essex John Harman, Esq 

Hi-'hlands Esses C. H. Kortright, Esq 


Holkham Norfolk T. W. Coke, Esq. M. P . 

Hiilwood Kent Right Hon. \Vm. Pitt 

Holme Park Berkshire Richard Palmer, Esq. . . . , 

Hooton Cheshire Sir Thomas Stanley, Bart. 

Hurlingham in Fulham John Ellis, Esq 

Kenwood Middlesex Earl Mansfield 

Langley Park Kent Right Hon. Lord Gwydir 

I.athom House Lancashire Wilbraham Bootle, Esq. M. P.. . 

Langleys Essex \V. Tuffhel, Esq 

Livermere Suffolk N. Lee Acton, Esq 

Luscombe Devonshire Ch. Hoare, Esq 

Maiden Early Berkshire E Golding, Esq. M. P 

Magdalen College Oxford President and Fellows 

Merly House Dorsetshire W. Willet Willet, Esq 

Milton House Cambridgeshire Sam. Knight, Esq 

Milton Abbey Northamptonshire Earl Wentworth Fitzwilliam. . . 

-Michel Grove Sussex Richard Walker, Esq 

Moccas Court Herefordshire bir George Cornewall, Bart. M. 

Mulgrave Yorkshire Right Hon. Lord Mulgrave.. . . 

Newton Park Somersetshire W. Gore Langton, Esq. M. P. . . . 

Normanton Rutlandshire Sir Gilbert Heathcote, Bart. M. P. 

Oldbury Court Gloucestershire T. Graeme, Esq 

Organ Hall Hertfordshire \Vm. Towgood, Esq 

Panshanger Hertfordshire Earl Cowper 

Port Eliot Cornwall Right Hon. Lord Crags Eliot 

Prestwood Staffordshire Hon. Edw. Foley, M. P 

Plas Newyd Anglesea Earl of Uxbridge 

Purley Berkshire J. Ant. Storer, Esq 

Rendlesham Suffolk P. Thellusson, Esq. MP 

Riig North Wales Col. E. V. W. Salesbury 

Sarsden Oxfordshire . . .J. Langsf on, Esq. M. P 

Scarrisbrick Lancashire T. Scarrisbrick Eccleston, Esq 

Sheffield Place Sussex Right Hon. Lord Sheffield 

Sliardf loes Buckinghamshire Wm. Drake, Esq. M. P 

Stoke Park Herefordshire Hon. E. Foley, M. P 

Stoke Pogies Berkshire John Penn, Esq 

Stoneaston Somersetshire Hippesley Coxe, Esq. M. P 

St. John's Isle of Wight Edw. Simeon, E'.q 

Stapleton. Gloucestershire Dr. Lovell, ]\L D 

Stratton Park Hampshire Sir Francis Baring, Bart. M. P... 

Sireatham Villa Surry Robert Brown, Esq 

Sufton Court Herefordshire James Hereford, Esq.. . ., 

SundridgePaik Kent Claude Scott, Esq. M. P 

Suttons Essex Charles Smith, Esq. M. P 

Taplow Buckinghamshire J. Fryer, Esq 

Tendring Suffolk Sir Wm. Rowley, Bart 

Thoresby Nottingliamshire Lord Viscount Newark. 

Valleyfield Perthshire Sir Robert Preston, Bart. M. P.. . 

Wall Hall Hertfordshire G. W. Thellusson, Esq. M. P.. . . 

West Wycombe Buckinghamshire Sir J. Dashwood King, Bart 

Wentworlh House Yorkshire Farl Wentworth Fitzwilliam 

Welbeck Nottinghamshire His Grace the Duke of Portland. . 

Whitton Park Middlesex Samuel Prime, Esq 

Wimpole Cambridgeshire Earl Hardwicke 

Woodley Berkshire Right Hon H. Adding^on. M. P, 

Wycombe Buckinghamshire Right Hon. Lord Carrmgton 


Introduction — General Principles — Utility — Scale — Various Exam- 
ples of comparative Proportion — Use of Perspective — Example 
from THE Fort — Ground — Several Examples of removing Earth 
— Hie great Hill at Wentworth. 

Ihe Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening have sel- 
dom fallen under the consideration of the same author; be- 
cause those who have delivered their opinions in writing on this 
art have had little practical experience, and few of its profes- 
sors have been able to deduce their rules from theoretical prin- 
ciples. To such persons indeed had its practice been committed, 
that it required no common degree of fortitude and persever- 
ance to elevate the art of landscape gardening to its proper rank 



and amongst those which distinguish the pleasures of civilized 
society from the pursuits of savage and barbarous nations. 

Not deterred by the sneer of ignorance/ the contradiction 
of obstinacy, the nonsense of vanity, or the prevalence of false 
taste, I made the attempt; and with the counsels and advice of 
men of science, and the countenance of some of the first charac- 
ters in the kingdom, a very large portion of its scenery has been 
committed to my care for improvement. Hence it might be ex- 
pected that with some degree of confidence I now should deliver 
the result of my observations; yet from the difficulties continually 
increasing with my knowledge of the subject, I submit this work 
to the public with far more diffidence than I did my former 
volume : because in this, as in every other study, reflection and 
observation on those things which we do know, teach us to regret 
our circumscribed knowledge, and the difficulty of reducing to 
fixed principles the boundless variety of the works of Nature. 

If any general principles could be established in this art, I 
think they might be deduced from the joint consideration of 
relative Jifness or utility, and comparative propotiion or scale; 
the former may be referred to the mind, the latter to the eye, 
yet these two must be inseparable. 

Under relative fitness I include the comfort, the convenience, 
the character, and every circumstance of a place, that renders 
it the desirable habitation of man, and adapts it to the uses of 
each individual proprietor; for it has occasionally happened to 
me to have been consulted on the same subject by two diffe- 

' The ignorance and obstinacy lie re alluded to, relate to the frequent opposition I 
have experienced from gardeners, bailiffs, and land stewards, who either wilfully mar 
my plans, or ignorautly mistake my instructions. 


rent proprietors, when my advice has been materially varied, to 
accord with the respective circumstances or intentions of each. 

The second is that leading principle which depends on sight, 
and which I call comparative proportion; because all objects 
appear great or small by comparison only, or as they have - 
a reference to other objects with which they are liable to be 

As this will be more clearly explained by an example, the 
vignette' at the beginning of the chapter presents two obelisks, 
of exactly the same size, yet by the figures placed near each, 
they appear to be of very different dimensions. The height of 
a man we know to be generally from five to six feet, but an 
obelisk may be from ten to an hundred feet high; we therefore 
compare the unknown with the known object, and immediately 
pronounce one of these obelisks to be twice the size of the other. 
Yet without some such scale to assist the eye, it would be 
equally difficult either in nature, or in a picture, to form a cor- 
rect judgment concerning objects of uncertain dimensions. 

At HoLKHAM, about twenty years ago, the lofty obelisk seen 
from the portico, appeared to be surrounded by shrubbery, but 

'' Beside the obelisks in the vignette, are several other emblems relating to land- 
scape gardening: the proportional compasses are often necessary to fix the exact com- 
parative dimensions on paper, to reduce or enlarge the scale, and the flowing lines of 
ribbon or linen cloth are frequently necessary to mark the outline of a piece of water, 
when its effect is to be judged of at a distance ; but above all, the eye to observe and 
the Iiaml to delineate, are always 7iecessary, and will often supersede the use of every 
instrument, because the judicious artist must rather consider things as they appear 
than as they really exist, by which he may unite distant objects, and separate those 
in contact; his effects must be studied with the eye of the painter, and reduced to 
proper scale with the measurement of the land surveyor. 

on a nearer approach, I found that these apparent shrubs were 
really large trees, and only depressed by the greater height of 
the obelisk. A similar instance occurs at Welbeck; the large 
grove of oaks seen from the house across the water, consists of 
trees most remarkable for their straight and lofty stems; yet, 
to a stranger, their magnitude is apparently lessened by an 
enormous large and flourishing ash, which rises like a single 
tree out of a bank of brushwood. When I was first consulted 
respecting Wentworth House, the lawn behind it appeared 
circumscribed, and the large trees which surrounded that lawn 
appeared depressed by four tall obelisks: these have since been 
removed, the stately trees have assumed their true magnitude, 
and the effect of confinement is done away. 

I have illustrated these observations by the example of an 
obelisk, because its height being indeterminate, it may mislead 
the eye as a scale; since according to its size and situation the 
very same design may serve for a lamp-post, a mile-stone in the 
market-place of a city, an ornament to a public square, or it 
may be raised on the summit of a hill, a monument to a nation's 

The necessity of observing scale or comparative proportion, 
may be further elucidated by a reference to West Wycombe, 
a place generally known from its vicinity to the road to Oxford. 
Amongst tlie profusion of buildings and ornament which the 
false taste of the last age lavished upon this spot, many were 
correct in design, and, considered separately, in proportion; 
but even many of the designs, although perfect in themselves, 
were rendered absurd, from inattention either to the scale or 
situation of the surrounding objects. The summit of a hill is 


covered Ijy a large rnass of Grecian arcliitecture, out of which 
apparently rises a small square projection, with a ball at the top, 
not unlike the kind of cupolas misplaced over stables; but in 
reality this building is the tower of a church,' and the ball a 
room sufficiently large to contain eight or ten people. 

This comparative proportion, or, in other words, this attem 
tion to scale or measurement, is not only necessary with regard 
to objects near each other, but it forms the basis of all improve- 
ment depending on perspective, by the laws of which it is well 
known, that objects diminish in apparent size in proportion to 
their distance : yet the application of this principle may not per- 
haps have been so universally considered. I shall therefore men- 
tion a few instances in which I have availed myself of its effects. 

At HuKLiNGHAM ou tlic bauks of the Thames, the lawn in 
front of the house was necessarily contracted by the vicinity of 
the river, yet being too large to be kept under the scythe and 

" On the summit of another building, viz. a saw'-mill in the park, was a figure of 
a man in a brown coat and a broad brimmed hat, representing the great Penn of Pen- 
silvania, which being much larger than the natural proportion of a man, yet having 
the appearance of a man upon die roof of the building, diminished the size of every 
other object by which it was surrounded. It has since been removed, and is now in 
the possession of Mr. Penn at Stoke Fogies, where, placed in a room, it seems a colos- 
sal figure. Another instance of false scale at this place, was the diminutive building 
with a spire at the end of the park, Avhich, perhaps, when the neighbouring trees were 
small, might have been placed there with a view of extending the perspective. This 
artifice may be allowable in certain cases, and to a certain degree, yet a cathedral in 
miniature must in itself be absurd; and when we know that it was only the residence 
of a shoemaker, and actually dedicated to St. Crispin, it becomes truly ridiculous. 

I have drawn these examples of defects from West Wycombe, because they are 
obvious to every passenger on a very public road, and because I shall, in the course of 
this volume, have occasion to mention the many beauties of this place. 


rolled, and too small to be fed by a flock of sheep, I recom- 
mended the introduction of Alderney cows only; and the effect is 
that of giving imaginary extent to the place, which is thus mea- 
sured below a true standard; because if distance will make a 
large animal appear small, so the distance will be apparently 
extended by the smallness of the animal. 

The same reasoning induced me to prefer at Stoke Pogies 
a bridare of more arches than one over a river which is the work 
of ait, whilst in natural rivers a single arch is often preferable, 
because in the latter we wish to increase the magnitude of the 
bridge, whilst in the former we endeavour to give importance 
to the artificial river. 

Another instance of the necessity of attending to compara- 
tive scale, occurred near the metropolis, where a gentleman 
wished to purchase a distant field for the purpose of planting 
out a tile-kiln, but I convinced him, that during the life of man 
the nuisance could never be hid from his u^indows by planting 
near the kiln, whilst a few trees judiciously placed within his 
own ground, would eftect the purpose the year after they were 

The Art of Landscape Gardening is in no instance more inti- 
mately connected with that of painting than in whatever relates 
to perspective, or the difl^erence between the real and apparent 
magnitude of the objects, arising from their relative situations; 
for without some attention to perspective, both the dimensions 
and the distances of objects will be changed and confounded. 

Few instances liavinji* occurred to me where tills can he more 
forcibly elucidated than in the ground at the fout near Bris- 
tol ; I shall avail myself of the following observations to shew 
what can, and what can not be done by a judicious application 
of the laws of perspective. 

When I first visited the fort, I found it surrounded by vast 
chasms in the ground, and immense heaps of earth and broken 
rock; these had been made to form the cellars and foundations 
of certain additions to the city of Bristol, which were afterwards 
relinquished. The first idea that presented itself was to restore 
the ground to its original shape; but a little reflection on the 
character and situation of the place, naturally led me to enquire 
w hether so?}ie considerable advantage might not be derived from 
the mischief w hich had thus been already done. 

Few situations command so varied, so rich, and so extensive 
a view as the fort; situated on the summit of a hill which looks 
over the vast citj^ of Bristol, it formerly surveyed the river, and 
the beautiful country surrounding it, without being incommoded 
by too much view of the city itself: but the late prodigious in- 
crease of buildings had so injured the prospect from this house, 
that its original advantages of situation were almost destroyed, 
and there was some reason to doubt whether it could ever be 
made desirable either as a villa or as a country residence; because 
it was not only exposed to the unsightly rows of houses in Park 
Street and Berkley Square, but it was liable to be overlooked 
by the numerous crowds of people who claimed a riglit of foot- 
path through the park immediately before the windows. It was 
therefore as public as any house in any square or street of Bris- 
tol. If the earth had been simply put back to the places from 


whence it had been taken, the expence of its removal would 
have been greater than the method which occurred to me as 
more advisable; viz. to fill up the chasms partly by levelling 
the sides into them, and raising a bank with a wall to exclude 
the foot-path, as shewn in the annexed section, where the dotted 
line shews the original shape of the ground; the zig-zag line, 
holes from fifteen to twenty feet deep; the shaded line, the shape 
of the ground as altered. 

By this expedient we hide the objectionable part of the view, 
and by planting the raised heap of earth we produce a degree 
of privacy and seclusion in this newly created valley within the 
pleasure grounds, which was never before known or expected 
in this open situation. The pleasure ground, immediately near 
tlie house, is separated from the park by a wall, against which 
the earth is every where laid as before described, so as to carry 
the eye over the heads of persons who may be walking in the 
adjoining foot-path. This wall not only hides them from the 
house, but also prevents their overlooking the pleasure ground. 
Yet notwithstanding this great utility, this absolute necessity, 
ihe appearance of such a wall from the park gives an air of con- 
finement, and the only expedient by which this might be well 
remedied, would be a total change in the character of the place, 


or rather by altering the house to make it wliat its name and 
situation denote: for if the fort were restored to its original 
character of a castle or fortress, this wall, instead of being objec- 
tionable, would then act as a terrace, and contribute to the 
general effect of extent, and the magnificence of the whole.*^ 

The drawing represents the view from the house, as it ap- 
peared before and after the improvement; upon the slide are 
shewn five rods or poles, each of which are supposed to be ten 
feet high, and placed at different distances from the eye; these 
shew the difference in the apparent height of the same object 
in the different situations, and of course what may be expected 
from trees planted of any given size at each place: from hence 
it is evident that a young tree at No. 1. will hide nothing for 
many years except the park wall. A tree of the same size at 
No. 2. will do little more; this is confirmed also by the large 
trees already growing there; but at No. 3. where a heap of 
earth has been thrown up to a considerable height, a tree of 
twenty feet would hide most of the houses, and in like manner 
at No. 4. and No. 5; immediate effects may be produced by 
judiciously planting to shew the distant objects over or under 
the branches of trees in the fore2"round. 

Although from the nature of this work it is difficult to pre- 
serve any connecting series of arrangement, yet it may not be 

" A drawing is inserted in the red book to shew the manner of thus alterina: the 
house; but the plate in this work is sutficient to explain the process used in ascertain- 
ing the possibility of so planting out the view of the neighbouring houses as to ex- 
clude what ought to be hid, without hiding what ought to be seen. 



improper in this place to mention a few remarkable instances of 
removing earth and altering the shape of the surface of ground, 
especially as there is no part of my profession attended with so 
much expence, or more frequently objected to, because so often 

Where a ridge of ground very near the eye intercepts the 
view of a valley below, it is wonderful how great an effect may 
be produced by a very trifling removal of the ridge only; thus 
at MoccAS Court a very small quantity of earth concealed 
from the house the view of that beautiful reach of the river 
Wye which has since been opened. At Oldbury Court the 
view is opened into a romantic glen by the same kind of opera- 
tion. At Catchfrench the same thing is advised to shew the 
opposite hills; and in this instance it may appear surprising, 
that the removal of a few yards of earth was sufficient to dis- 
play a vast extent of distant prospect. 

But this effect must depend on the natural shape of the sur- 
face near the eye; for example, if the shape be that of the upper 
line A. 

the object at F. cannot be seen without the removal of all the 
earth between the dotted line and the surface; but if the shape 
be that of B. the removal of the part not shaded will be suffi- 


cient to shew the valley; and it is not always desirable to see 
the whole surface, on the contrary, it is better that a part should 
be concealed, than that the whole should be shewn fore- 
shortened, which is always the case in looking down or up an 
inclined plane/ 

The most arduous operations of removing ground are gene- 
rally those where the geometric taste of gardening had distorted 
the natural surface, and where it would now be attended with 
much greater trouble and expence to restore the ground to its 
original shape, than had been formerly dedicated to make those 
slopes and regular forms, which are more like the works of a 
military engineer than of a painter or a gardener. 

Few instances have occurred to me where great expence in 
moving ground was requisite to produce pleasing effects, and 
it is always with reluctance that I advise much alteration in 
the surface of ground, because however great the labour or 
expensive the process, it is a part of the art from which the 
professor can derive but little credit, since his greatest praise 
must be, that the ground looks when finished, as if art had never 
interfered. " Ars est celare artem." 

' Having often seen great expence incurred by removing ground to shew the whole 
surface of a valley from the top of a hill, it may not be improper to explain that such 
an effort is seldom useful or desirable. To the painter it is impossible to represent 
ground thus fore-shortened, and the first source of beauty in the composition of a 
landscape, is the separation of distinct distances; the imagination delights in filling 
up those parts of the picture which the eye cannot see; and thus in a landscape 
while we do not see the bottom of a deep glen, we suppose it deeper than it really is; 
but when its whole shape is once laid open, the magic of fancied rocks and rattling 
torrents, is reduced perhaps to the mortifying discovery of a dry valley or a swampy 


^Vhen I was first consulted at Sundridge Park by Mr. 
Lincl the former possessor, the house, which has since been 
pulled down, stood on the south side of the valley; and those 
who knew the spot despaired of finding a situation for a house 
on the opposite side of the valley that the rooms might have 
a southern aspect, as the bank was too steep to admit of any 
building. My much respected friend, the present possessor, 
was aware of this circumstance, and by art we have produced 
a situation which nature denied. The earth was lowered thirty 
feet perpendicularly at the spot on which the house was built, 
and so disposed at the foot of the hill, that no trace of artificial 
management is now to be discovered/ 

Among the greatest examples of removing ground may be 
mentioned the work going on at Bulstrode under the direc- 
tion of his Grace the Duke of Portland himself; whose good 
taste will not suffer any part of that beautiful park to be dis- 
guised by the misjudging taste of former times, and who, bj^ open- 
ing the valleys and taking away a great depth of earth from the 
stems of the largest trees, which had been formerly buried, is 

' The house, and the hill on which it stands, are exactly in due proportion to each 
other; and the former is so fitted to the situation and views which it commands, that 
I regret having shared with another the reputation of designing and adapting this 
very singular house to circumstances which cannot m'cU he explained but upon the 
spot: having given a drawing and description of the scene to Mr. Angus, injustice to 
his work, I will not insert any view of this house; but its distance is so short from the 
capital, that, like many others, my best reference will be to the place itself. 

In thus referring to places improved under my direction, it is not to be supposed 
that they are at all times accessible to idle curiosity; but the same good taste, and the 
same liberality of sentiment which induces a proprietor to consult the professor of an 
art, will naturally operate in favour o^ scientific inquiry. 


by degrees restoring the surface of the ground to its original 
and natural shape.^ 

As connected with the subject of moving ground, I shall 
extract from my Red Book of Went worth the following ob- 
servations concerning the great work at that place which had 
so long been carrying on under the direction of the late Marquis 
of Rockingham. 

Of the view from the portico at Wentworth House, my 
opinion is so contrary to that of many others who have advised 
a farther removal of the hill, that I hope it will not be improper 
to state very fully the reasons on which I ground this opinion, 
viz. that so far from such an operation being equivalent to the 
trouble by which it must be executed, I would not advise its 
removal, if it could be much more easily effected, because 

U The outline of the horizon beyond this hill is almost a 
straight line, and would be very offensive when shewn over ano- 
ther straight line parallel to it. 

2. The view of the valley beyond, liowever rich in itself, is 
too motley to form a part of the proper landscape from such a 
palace as Wentworth House, although from many situations in 
the park it is a very interesting feature. 

3. The vast plain, which has with so much difficulty been 
obtained in front of the house, is exactly proportionate to tlie 
extent of the edifice, and tends to impress the ideas of magni- 

* In this great work are occasionally employed among the more efficient labourers, 

an hundred children from ten to fifteen years old, who are thus early trained to habits 

of wholesome industry, far different from the foul air and confinement of spinning in 

a cotton mill; to the benevolent observer no object can be more delightful than park 

..scenery thus animated. 


ficence which so great a work of art is calculated to inspire. 
Such a plain forms an ample base for the noble structure which 
graces its extremity; the building and the plain are evidently 
made for each other, and consequently to increase the dimen- 
sions of either seems unnecessary. 

The foregoing reasons relate to the hill as considered from 
the house only, I shall now consider it in other points of view. 

Wentworth park consists of parts in themselves truly great and 
mao-nificent. The Woods, the Lawns, the Water, and the Build- 
ings, are all separately striking; but considered as a whole, there 
is a want of connexion and harmony in the composition : be- 
cause parts in themselves large, if disjoined, lose their importance. 
This I am convinced is the effect of too great an expanse of 
unclothed lawn, but when the young trees shall have thrown 
a mantle over this extensive knowl, all the distant parts will 
assume one general harmony, and the scattered masses of this 
splendid scenery will be connected and brought together into 
one vast and magnificent whole. 

The use of a plantation on this hill in the approach from 
Rotherham is evident from the effect of a small clump which 
will form a part of this great mass, and which now hides the 
house, till by the judicious bend round that angle, the whole 
building bursts at once upon the view. 

It can readily be conceived, that before the old stables were 
removed there might appear some reason for not planting this 
hill; not because it was too near the front, but because the view 
thus bounded by a wood on one side, and the large pile of old 
stables on the other, would be too confined. That objection is 
removed with the stables, and now a wood on this hill will form 


a foreground, and lead the eye to each of those scenes, which 
are too wide apart ever to be considered as one landscape. In 
the adjoining sketch I have endeavoured to shew the effect of 
planting this hill, leaving part of the rock to break out among 
the trees. In a line of such extent, and where the angle nearest 
the house will be rather acute, it may be necessary to hide part, 
and to soften off the corner of the plantation by a few scattered 
single trees in the manner I have attempted to represent. 

Among the future uses of the hill plantation it may be men- 
tioned, that the shape which the ground most naturally seems 
to direct for the outline of this wood is such as will hereafter 
give opportunity to form the most interesting walk that imagi- 
nation can suggest; because from a large crescent of wood on 
a knowl the views must be continually varying, while by a judi- 
cious management of the small openings, and the proper direc- 
tion of the walks, the scenery in the park will be shewn under 
different circumstances of foreground with increased beauty. 



Optics or vision — Af what Distance Objects appear largest — Awis 
of Vision — Quantifij or Field of Vision — Ground apparently 
altered hy Situation of the Spectator — Reflections from the Sur- 
face of Water explained and applied — Different Efects of 
Light 071 different Objects — Example. 

Landscape Gardening being connected with optics or vision, 
or rather with the application of their rules to practical improve- 
ment, it may not be improper to devote a chapter to the follow- 
ing observations. 

There is a certain point of distance from whence every ob- 
ject appears at its greatest magnitude. This subject was origi- 
nally discussed in consecpience of observing that a particular 
rock at Port Eliot appeared higher or lower, at different dis- 
tances. The inquiry into the cause of this difference led me 
to propose a question to several ingenious friends. 

Query, At what distance does any object appear at its greatest 

' The general optical distinction of the magnitude of objects 
is into real and apparent; the real being what its name imports, 
and the apparent not that which may ultimately result to the 
mind, but that which is immediately impressed on the eye. 
This is measured by a plain and certain rule, namely, the angle 
which is formed at the eye by lines drawn from the extremities 


of the object. The apparent heiglit of a man therefore at a 
quarter of a mile distance, is not the conception which we form 
of his height, but the opening or angle of the two lines above 
mentioned, viz. of the two drawn from the extremities of the 
object to our eye. This apparent height therefore of any ob- 
ject, will be measured always upon the simplest principles; and 
will vary according to, first, the distance of the object; secondly, 
the inclination it makes with the horizon; and thirdly, our rela- 
tive elevation or depression. Any two of the above three thino-s 
continuing the same, the apparent magnitude will decrease with 
the third, though not in exact proportion to it. 

' Thus the object being perpendicular to the horizon, and our 
elevation remaining the same, its apparent height will decrease 
with the distance. Our elevation and the distance remainino- the 
same, the apparent height of the object will decrease with its 
inclination to the horizon. The inclination and distance beino- 
the same, the angle, or apparent height, will decrease with our 
elevation or depression, supposing our height was at first the 
middle point of the object. This last being liable to some ex- 
ceptions, the general rule is, that the distance from the object, 
measured by a perpendicular to it, being the same, the point at 
which its apparent height will be greatest, is, where the perpen- 
dicular from the eye falls upon the centre. 

' The apparent height of a body, as upon the same principles 
any other of its dimensions, is a matter of easy consideration; 
its inclination, its distance, and the relative position of the ob- 
server being known. The difficulty is to know what the con- 
ception is that we shall form of the height and magnitude of an 
object; according to different circumstances, its apparent height. 


as well as its real heiglit, remaining the same. This you will 
see helongs to wholly different principles, and such as cannot 
he reduced to certain rules; it appears too from hence, that 
the question has little or nothing to do with mathematical prin- 
ciples, at least beyond those simple ones which I have just 
stated. Of other principles, the consideration is more diver- 
sified: much may be ascribed to the habit, which we probably 
have, of estimating the height of objects, not by the angle 
formed by lines to the summit and the base, when the base is 
below us, but by that formed between a line from the summit 
and a line parallel to the horizon; in this way our conception of 
the magnitude may be less, while the apparent magnitude may 
be greater. A thousand other causes may likewise operate, 
amongst which will be some that belong to what is called aerial 
perspective, or those rules by which we judge of the distance 
or dimensions of objects, not by their outline on the retina, but 
by their colour and distinctness. The existence and operation 
of these can hardly be found, but by a careful examination and 
comparison of particular instances.' 

The concluding paragraph in this letter, from one of the 
most able men of the ase, encouraoed me to examine and com- 
pare particular instances as they fell under my observation, and 
from a variety of these I am led to conclude, that among those 
numerous causes here said to operate independent of mathema- 
tical principles, one may proceed from the position of the eye 
itself; which is so placed as to view a certain portion of the 
hemisphere without any motion of the head. This portion has 
been differently stated by different authors, varying from sixty 
to ninety degrees. 


The question before us relates to the height, and not to the 
general magnitude of the object, these being separate conside- 
rations; because the eye is capable of surveying more in breadth 
than in height; but it is also capable of seeing much farther below 
its axis than above it, as shewn by the following profile. From 
hence it appears that the projection of the forehead and eye- 
brow causes great difference betwixt the angle A. B. and the 
angle A. C. and that the line parallel to the horizon A. which I 
shall call the axis of -cision, does not fall in the centre of the 
opening betwixt the extreme rays B. and C. 


....•■ 28 

ulxis cf Vision 


Doubtless these angles may vary in different individuals from 
various causes, such as, the prominency of the eye, the habit 
or usual position of the head, &c. yet the upper angle A. B. will 
seldom be greater than one half of the lower angle A. C. and 
I have ascertained, with some precision, that I could not dis- 
tinguish objects more than twenty-eight degrees above my axis 
of vision, although I can distinctly see them fifty-seven degrees 


below it. From hence I conclude that the distance at which an 
object appears at its greatest height^ is, when the axis of vision 
and the summit of the object form an angle of about thirty de- 
grees; because, under this angle, the eye perceives its fall ex- 
tent without moving the head, yet not without some effort of 
the eye itself to comprehend the whole of the object. 

To this theory it may, perhaps, be objected, that in the act 
of seeing, the motion of the head is too rapid to effect any ma- 
terial difference; but it will be found, on examining this subject 
attentively, that the object is seen in a new point of view, from 
the instant the head is moved, because the rays no longer meet 
at the same centre; and therefore the effect of such vision on 
the mind, is rather a renewal in succession of similar ideas, than 
the same single idea simultaneously excited: and this difference 
may be compared to that between seeing a landscape reflected 
in a mirror at rest, and the same landscape when the mirror has 
been removed from its original position.^ 

From frec[uent observation of the difference between seeing 
an object with and without moving the head, I am inclined to 
believe, tliat by the latter the mind grasps the whole idea at 
once, but by the former it is rather led to observe the parts 
separately: hence are derived many of those ideas of apparent 
magnitude or proportion which induce us to pronounce at the 
first glance, whether objects are great or small. I should there- 

^ Perhaps this difference may be more familiarly explained by observing, that when 
a lark ascends in the air we have no difficulty in keeping the bird in siglit so long as 
we continue our head in the first position ; but from the moment the head is moved, 
we have to search for the object again, and often in vain, through the vast ex- 
panse of sky. 


fore answer the question, " at what distance does any object 
appear at its greatest heightP" by saying, when the spectator is 
at such a distance that the line drawn from his eye to the top 
of the object forms an angle of not less than twenty-eight degrees 
with the axis of vision; and thus supposing the eye to be five 
feet six inches from the ground, the distance will be according 
to the following table. 

105 100 90 80 70 60 50 

Scale of Feet shewing the Distance of the Spectator from the several Objects. 

The scientific observer will always rejoice at discovering any 
law of Nature by which the judgment is unconsciously directed. 
At a certain distance from the front of any building, we admire 
the general proportions of the whole: but if the building can 
only be viewed within those angles of vision already described, 
it is the several parts which first attract our notice, and we ge- 
nerally pronounce that object large, the whole of which the 
eye can not at once comprehend. 


Hence it is commonly observed by those who have seen both 
St. Peter's at Rome, and St. Paul's at London, that the latter 
appeared the largest at the first glance, till they became aware 
of the relative proportion of the surrounding space; and I doubt 
whether the dignity of St. Paul's would not suffer if the area 
round the building were increased, since the great west portico 
is in exact proportion to the distance from whence it can now 
be viewed according to the preceding table of heights and dis- 
tances: but if the whole church could be viewed at once like 
St. Peter's, the dome would overpower the portico, as it does 
in a geometrical view of the west front. '^ 

The field of vision, or the portion of landscape which the 
eye will comprehend, is a circumstance frequently mistaken in 
fixing the situation for a house; since a view seen from the win- 
dows of an apartment will materially differ from the same view 
seen in the open air. In one case, without moving the head, 
we see from sixty to ninety degrees; or by a single motion of 
the head, without moving the body, we may see. every object 
within one hundred and eighty degrees of vision. In the other 
case the portion of landscape will be much less, and must de- 

" I have sometimes thought that this same rule of optics may account for the plea- 
sure felt at first entering a room of just proportions, such as twenty by thirty, and 
fifteen feet high ; or twenty-four by thirty-six, and eighteen feet high; or the double 
cube when it exceeds twenty-four feet. 


pend on the size of the window, the thickness of the walls, and 
the distance of the spectator from the aperture. Hence it arises 
that persons are frequently disappointed after building a house 
to find, that those objects, which they expected would form 
the leading features of their landscape, are scarcely seen except 
from such a situation in the room as may be inconvenient to 
the spectator; or otherwise the object is shewn in an oblique 
and unfavourable point of view. This will be more clearly ex- 
plained by the following diagram. 





■3 a 

It is evident that a spectator at A. can only see through an 
aperture of four feet those objects which fall within the opening 
B. C. in one direction, and D. E. in the other, neither compre- 
hending more than twenty or thirty degrees. But if he removes 
to a near the windows, he will then see all the objects within 
the angle F. G. in one direction, or H. I. in the other; yet it is 
obvious that even from these spots, that part of the landscape 
which lies betwixt the extreme lines of vision F. and H. will be 
invisible, or at least seen with difficult}^, by placing the eye 
much nearer to the window than is always convenient. 

From hence it follows, that to obtain so much of a view as 


may be expected/ it is not sufficient to have a cross light or win- 
clows in two sides of the room at right angles with each other; 
but there must be one in an oblique direction, which can only 
be obtained by a bow-window: and although there may be some 
advantage in making the different views from a house distinct 
landscapes, yet as the villa requires a more extensive prospect 
than a constant residence, so the bow-window is peculiarly 
applicable to the villa. I mus.t acknowledge that its external 
appearance is not always ornamental, especially as it is often 
forced upon obscure buildings where no view is presented near 
great towns, and oftener is placed like an uncouth excrescence 
upon the bleak and exposed lodging houses at a watering-place; 
but in the large projecting windows of old gothic mansions 
beauty and grandeur may be united to utility. 

The apparent shape of the ground will be altered by the 
situation of the spectator. This is a subject of much import- 
ance to the Landscape Gardener, although not generally studied. 

In hilly coiintries where the banks are bold, a road in a val- 
ley is always pleasing, because it seems natural, and carries 

Of this I observed a curious instance at Hootox House, from Avhence a distant 
view of Liverpool, and its busy scenery of shipping, is not easily seen without opening 
the windows, \\hile the difference of a few yards in the original position of the house 
Mould have obviated the defect wliile it improved its general situation. 


with it the idea of ease and safety; but in a country that is not 
hilly, we ought rather to shew the little"^ inequalities of ground 
to advantage. The difference betwixt viewing ground from the 
bottom of a valley, or the side of a hill, will be best explained 
by the following diagram, where the rules of perspective again 
assist the scientific improver. 


A «-^ - 


'\ \ J plain appears a hill, orahillaplain, ^ 

(iLCording to the point of view ' Wl|| 

from whence each is seen. 


The spectator at A. in looking up the hill towards C. will 
lose all the ground that is fore-shortened ; and every object 
which rises higher than five feet (i. e. the height of his eye) will 
present itself above his horizon if the slope is exactly an inclined 
plane or hanging level ; but as the shape of ground here deli- 
neated more frequently occurs, he will actually see the sky, and 

'' That I may not be misunderstood as recommending a road over hill and dale to 
shew the extent or beauty of a place, I must here observe, that nothing can justify 
a visible deviation from the shortest line in an approach to a house, but such obstacles 
as evidently point out the reason for the deviation. 


consequently the utmost pitch of the hill beneath the body of 
the animal placed at B. and part of the thorn at C. becomes 

This accounts for the highest mountains losing their import- 
ance when seen only from the base; while, on the contrary, a 
plain or level surface (for instance the sea) appears to rise con- 
siderably when viewed from an eminence. Let us suppose ano- 
ther spectator to be placed at D. it is evident that this person 
will see no ground fore-shortened but that below him, while the 
opposite hill will appear to him far above the head of the man 
at A. and above the cow at B. In the section the dotted lines 
are the respective horizons of the two spectators, and the sketches 
shew the landscape seen by each, in which the forked tree may 
serve as a scale to measure the height of each horizon. 

The reflections of objects in water are no less dependent on 
the laws of perspective, or of vision, than the instances already 

If the water be raised to the level of the ground beyond it, 
we lose all advantage of reflection from the distant ground or 
trees: tliis is the case with pieces of water near the house in 
many places, for all ponds on high ground present a constant 
glare of light from the sky; but the trees beyond can never be 


reflected on tlie surface, because the angle of incidence and the 
angle of reflection are always equal: and the surface of the water 
will always be a perfect horizontal plane. This I shall farther 
explain by the following lines. 

B ...•••■ 

The spectator at A. in looking on the upper water will see 
only sky; because the angle of incidence B. and that of reflection C. 
being equal, the latter passes over the top of the trees D. on 
lower ground: but the same spectator A. in looking on the lower 
water, Avill see the trees E. reflected on its surface, because the 
line of reflection passes through them, and not over them, as in 
the first instance. 

There are other circumstances belonQ-ino: to reflection on the 
surface of water, which deserve attention, and of which the 
landscape gardener should avail himself in the exercise of his 
art. Water in motion, whether agitated by wind or by its na- 
tural current, produces little or no reflection; but in artificial 
rivers the quiet surface doubles every object on its shores, and 
for this reason I have frequently found that the surface could 
be increased in appearance by sloping its banks: not only that 
which actually concealed part of the water, but also the oppo- 


site bank; because it increased the quantity of sky reflected on 
the surface. 

Example. The spectator at A. sees the sky reflected only 
from B. to C. while the opposite bank is round; but if sloped to 
the shaded line, less of the bank will be reflected in the water, 
and the quantity of sky seen in the water Avill be from B. to D. 
and as the brilliancy of still water depends on the sky re- 
flected on its surface, the quantity of water will be apparently 

As properly belonging to this chapter, may be mentioned a 
curious observation which occurred in the view of the Thames 
from PuRLEY. In the morning, when the sun was in the east, 
the landscape appeared to consist of wood, water, and distant 
country, with few artificial acconq^animents; but in the evening, 
when the sun was in the west, objects presented themselves, 
which were in the morning scarcely visible. In the first in- 
stance, the Wood was in a solemn repose of shade, the Water 
reflecting a clear sky was so brilliantly illuminated, that I could 
trace the whole course of the river, the dark Trees were strongly 






contrasted by the vivid green of the meadows, and the outline 
of distant Hills was distinctly marked by the brightness of the 
atmosphere. I could scarcely distinguish any other objects; 
but these formed a pleasing landscape from the breadth or con- 
trast of light and shade. 

In the evening the scene was changed; dark clouds reflected 
in the water rendered it almost invisible, the opposite hanging- 
wood presented one glare of rich foliage; not so beautiful in the 
painter's eye, as when the top of each tree was relieved by small 
catching lights: but the most prominent features were the Build- 
ings, the Boat, the Path, the Pales, and even the distant town 
of Reading, now strongly gilded by the opposite sun. 

On comparing this effect with others which I have frequently 
since observed, I draw this conclusion : that certain objects 
appear best with the sun behind them, and others wdth the sun 
full upon them; and it is rather singular, that to the former 
belong all natural objects, such as Woods, Trees, Lawn, Water, 
and distant Mountains; while to the latter belong all artificial 
objects, such as Houses, Bridges, Roads, Boats, Arable-fields, 
and distant Towns or Villages. 

In the progress of this work I shall have occasion to call 
the reader's attention to the principles here assumed, and which, 
in certain situations, are of great importance, and require to be 
well considered. 



Wafer — it may he too nahed or too much clothed — Example from 
West Wycombe — Digression concerning the Approach — 
Motion of Water — Example «^ Adlestrop — Art must deceive 
to imitate Nature — Cascade at Thoresby — TJie Rivulet — 
Water at Wentworth described — A River easier to imitate 
than a Lake — A bubbling Spring maij be imitated — A Ferry 
Boat at HoLKHAM — A rocky Channel at Harewood. 

The observations in the preceding chapter concerning the reflec- 
tion of sky on the surface of water, will account for that bril- 
liant and cheerful effect produced by a small pool, frequently 
placed near a house, although in direct violation of nature: for 
since the ground ought to slope, and generally does slope from 
a house, the water very near it must be on the side of a hill, 
and of course artificial. AUhough I have never proposed a piece 
of water to be made in such a situation, I have frequently ad- 
vised that small pools so unnaturally placed should be retained, 
in compliance with that general satisfaction which the eye derives 
from the glitter of water, however absurd its situation. 

It requires a degree of refinement in taste bordering on fas- 
tidiousness, to remove what is cheerful and pleasing to the eye, 
merely because it cannot be accounted for by the common laws 
of nature; I was, however, not sorry to discover some plea for 
my compliance, by considering, that although water on a hill 


is generally deemed unnatural, yet all rivers derive their sources 
from hills, and the highest mountains are known to have lakes 
or pools of water near their summits. 

We object, therefore, not so much to the actual situation, 
as to the artificial management of such water. We long to break 
down the mound of earth by which the water is confined; al- 
thou"h we miaht afterwards res^ret the loss of its cheerful glitter; 
and hence, perhaps, arises that baldness in artificial pools, so dis- 
gusting to the painter, and yet so pleasing to the less accurate 
observer. The latter delights in a broad expanse of light on the 
smooth surface, reflecting a brilliant sky; the former expects 
to find that surfiice ruffled by the winds, or the glare of light in 
parts obscured by the reflection of trees from the banks of the 
water; and thus while the painter requires a piciiire, the less 
scientific observer will be satisfied with a mirroj\ 

During great part of last century West Wycombe was 
deemed a garden of such finished beauty, that to those who for- 
merly remembered the place, it will seem absurd to suggest any 
improvement. But time will equally extend" its changing in- 
fluence to the works of nature and to those of art, since the 
PLANTER has to coutcud with a power — 

" A hidden power ! at once his friend and foe ! 
'Tis Vi-GETATiON ! Gradual to his groves 
She gives their wished effects, and that displayed, 
O! that her power would pause! but active still, 
She swells each stem, prolongs each vagrant bough. 
And darts, with unremitting vigour bold, 

From grace to wild luxuriance" 



Thus at West Wycombe, those trees and shrubs which were 
once its greatest ornament, have now so far outgrown their situa- 
tion, that the whole character of the place is altered; and instead 
of that gaiety and cheerfulness inspired by flowering shrubs and 
young trees, gloom and melancholy seem to have reared their 
standard in the branches of the tallest elms, and to shed their in- 
fluence on every surrounding object: on the House, by lessen- 
ing its importance; on the Water, by darkening its surface; and 
on the Lawn, by lengthened shadows. 

The prodigious height of the trees near the house has not 
merely affected the character, but also the very situation of the 
house. Instead of appearing to stand on a dry bank, consider- 
ably above the water (as it actually does) the house, oppressed 
by the neighbouring trees, became damp, and appeared to have 
been placed in a gloomy bottom, while the water was hardly 
visible, from the dark reflection of the trees on its surface, and 
the views of the distant hills were totally concealed from the 

It is a fortunate circumstance for the possessor where im- 
provement can be made rather by cutting down than by plant- 
ing trees. The efl*ect is instantly produced, and as the change 
in the scenery at this place has actually been realized before I 
could make a sketch to explain its necessity, the following draw- 
ing serves to record my reason for so boldly advising the use 
of the axe. I am well aware that my advice may subject 
me to the criticism of some, who will regret the loss of old 
trees, which, like old acquaintances, excite a degree of vene- 
ration, even when their age and infirmity have rendered tliem 
useless, perhaps offensive, to all but their youthful associates. 


The tedious process of planting and rearing woods, and the 
dreadful havock too often made by injudiciously falling large 
trees, ought certainly to inspire caution and diflidence ; but 
there is in reality no more temerity in marking the trees to be 
taken down than those to be planted, and I trust there has not 
been a single tree displaced at West Wycombe, which has not 
tended to improve the healthfulness, the magnilicence, and the 
beauty of the place. 

Most of the principal rooms having a north aspect, the land- 
scape requires peculiar management not generally understood^ 
Lawn, wood, and water, are always seen to the greatest advan- 
tage with the sun behind them, because the full glare of light 
between opposite trees destroys the contrast of wood and lawn; 
while water never looks so brilliant and cheerful when reflect- 
ing the northern, as the southern sky: a view therefore to the 
north would be dull and uninteresting without some artificial- 
objects, such as boats or buildings, or distant corn fields, to 
receive the opposite beams of the sun. 

A sketch (in the Red BooJiJ "" shewed the effect of taking 
down trees to admit the distant woods, and by removing those 
on the island, and of course their reflection, the water be- 
comes more conspicuous; in addition to this, the proposed new 
road of approach, with carriages occasionally passing near the 
banks of the lake, will give animation to the view from the 

' This subject has been explained in the preceding Chapter. 

■" A view of the house across the water, not here inserted, being exactly the reverse 
of that which represents the view towards the house, Avhich is inserted. 


Tlie view of West Wyco3ibe, inserted in this work, being 
taken from the proposed approach, I shall here beg leave to 
make a short digression, explaining my reasons for that line, 
founded on some general principles respecting an approach, al- 
though it has no other reference to the water than as it justifies 
its course in passing the house to arrive at its object. 

If the display of magnificent or of picturesque scenery in a 
park be made without ostentation, it can be no more at variance 
with good taste than the display of superior affluence in the 
houses, the equipage, the furniture, or the habiliment of wealthy 
individuals. It will, therefore, I trust, sufficiently justify the 
line of approach here proposed, to say, that it passes through 
the most interesting part of the grounds, and will display the 
scenery of the place to the greatest advantage, without making 
any violent or unnecessary circuit, to Include objects that do not 
naturally come within its reach. This I deem to be a just and 
sufficient motive, and an allowable display of property without 

The former approach to the house was on the south side of 
the valley, and objectionable for two reasons; 1st, it ascended 
tlie hill, and after passing round the whole of the buildings, 
it descended to the house, making it appear to stand low : 
:2nd, by going along the side of the hill, little of the park was 
shewn, although the road actually passed through it ; because, 
on an inclined plane," the ground which either rises on one 
side or falls on the other, becomes fore-shortened and little 
observed, while the eye is directed to the opposite side of the 

" This is explained in Cliap. II. 


valley, which, m this instance, consisted of enclosures beyond 
the park. On the contrary, the proposed new approach, being 
on the north side of the valley, will shew the park on the oppo- 
site bank to advantage, and, by ascending to the house, it 
will appear in its true and desirable situation upon a sufficient 
eminence above the water; yet backed by still higher ground, 
richly clothed with wood, this view of the house will also serve to 
explain, and I hope to justify, the sacrifice of those large trees 
which have been" cut down upon the island, and whose dark 
shadows being reflected on the water, excluded all cheerfulness. 

The water at West Wycombe, from tlie brilliancy of its co- 
lour, the variety of its shores, the different courses of its chan- 
nel, and the number of its Avooded islands, possessed a degree 
of pleasing intricacy which I have rarely seen in artificial pools 
or rivers; there appears to be only one improvement necessary 
to give it all the variety of which it is capable. The glassy sur- 
face of a still calm lake, hoAvever delightful, is not more inte- 
resting than the lively brook rippling over a rocky bed ; but 
when the latter is compared with a narrow stagnant creek, it 
must have a decided preference; and as this advantage might 

° Mr. Brown has been accused of cutting down large old trees, and afterwards 
planting small ones on the same spot ; the annexed plate may serve to vindicate the 
propriety of his advice. 


easily be ol)tainecl in view of the house, I think it ought not to 
be neglected. 

It may perhaps be objected, that to introduce rock scenery 
in this place would be unnatural; but if this artifice be properly 
executed, no eye can discover the illusion ; and it is only by 
such deceptions that art can imitate the most pleasing works of 
nature. By the help of such illusion we may see the interest- 
ing struggles of the babbling brook, which soon after 

" spreads 

Into a liquid plain, then stands unmov'd 
Pure as the expanse of Heaven." 

This idea has been realized in the scenery at Adlestrop, 
where a small pool, very near the house, was supplied by a co- 
pious spring of clear water. The cheerful glitter of this little 
mirror, although on the top of the hill, gave pleasure to those 
who had never considered how much it lessened the place, by 
attracting the eye and preventing its range over the lawn and 
falling ground beyond. This pool has now been removed; a 
lively stream of water has been led through a flower garden, 
where its progress down the hill is occasionally obstructed by 
ledges of rock, and after a variety of interesting circumstances 
it falls into a lake at a considerable distance, but in full view 
both of the mansion and the parsonage, to each of which it 
makes a delightful, because a natural, feature in the landscape. 

Few persons have seen the formal cascade at Thoresby in 
front of the house, and heard its solemn roar, without wishing 
to retain a feature which would be one of the most interesting- 
scenes in nature, if it could be divested of its disgusting and 


artificial formality; but this can only be effected by an equally 
violent, though less apparent, interference of art; because Avith- 
out absolutely copying any particular scene in Nature, we must 
endeavour to imitate the causes by which she produces her 
effects, and the effects will be natural. 

The general cause of a natural lake, or expanse of water, is 
an obstruction to the curi'ent of a stream by some ledge or 
stratum of rock which it cannot penetrate ; but as soon as the 
water has risen to the surface of this rock, it tumbles over with 
great fury, wearing itself a channel among the craggy fragments, 
and generally forming an ample bason at its foot. Such is the 
scenery we must attempt to imitate at Thoresby.p 

Having condemned the ill-judged interference of art in the 
disposition of the ground and water at Thoresby, it may per- 
haps be objected that I now recommend an artificial manage- 
ment not less extravagant; because I presume to introduce some 
appearance of rock scenery in a soil where no rock naturally 
exists; but the same objection might be made with ecpial pro- 
priety to the introduction of an artificial lake in a scene where 
no lake before existed. When under the guidance of Le Notre 
and his disciples, the taste for geometric gardening prevaUed, 
nature was totally banished or concealed by the works of art. 

» No drawing is inserted of this cascade, because the Avhole has been so well exe- 
cuted, that the best reference is to the spot itself, which will, I trust, long continue 
to prove my art "above the pencil's power to imitate." 

In forming this cascade huge masses of rock were brought from the craigs of 
Creswell, one in particular of many tons weight, with a large tree growing in its 
fissures ; the water has been so conducted by concealed leaden pipes, that in some 
places it appears to have forced its way through the ledges of the rocks. 


Now in defining the shape of land or water, we take nature for 
our model; and the highest perfection of landscape gardening 
is, to imitate nature so judiciously, that the interference of art 
shall never be detected. 

L'Arte che tutto fa nulla se scopic. 

A rapid stream, violently agitated, is one of the most inte- 
resting objects in nature. Yet this can seldom be enjoyed ex- 
cept in a rocky country; since the more impetuous the stream, 
the sooner will it be buried within its banks, unless they are of 
such materials as can resist its fury. To imitate this natural 
effect, therefore, in a soil like that of Thoresby, we must either 
force the stream above its level and deprive it of natural motion, 
or introduce a foundation of stones disposed in such a manner 
as to appear the rocky channel of the mountain stream. The 
former has been already done in forming the lake, and the latter 
has been attempted according to the fashion of geometric gar- 
dening in the regular cascade; where a great body of water was 
led under ground from the lake to move down stairs, into a 
scolloped bason, between two bridges immediately in front of 
the house. 

The violence done to nature by the introduction of rock 
scenery at Thoresby is the more allowable, since it is within a 
short distance of Derbyshire, the most romantic county in Eng- 
land; while from the awful and picturesque scenery of Creswell 
Craigs such strata and ledges of stone, covered with their na- 
tural vegetation, may be transported thither, that no eye can 
discover the fraud. 

It is scarcely possible for any admirer of nature to be more 

enthusiastically fond of her romantic scenery than myself; but 
her wildest features are seldom within the common range of 
man's habitation. The rugged paths of alpine regions will not 
be dai/i/ trodden by the foot of affluence, nor will the thunder- 
ing cataracts of Niagara seduce the votaries of pleasure y)-^- 
quently to visit their wonders ; it is only by a pleasing illusion 
that we can avail ourselves of those means which nature herself 
furnishes even in tame scenery to imitate her bolder effects; and 
to this illusion, if well conducted, the eye of genuine taste will 
not refuse its assent. 

'' La nature fuit les lieux frequentes, c'est an sommet des 
montagnes, au fond des forets, dans les isles desertes, qu'elle 
etale ses charmes les plus touchants, ceux qui I'aiment et ne 
peuvent Taller chercher si loin, sont reduits a lui faire violence, 
et a la forcer en quelque sorte a venir habiter parmi eux, et tout 
cela ne pent se faire sans un peu d'illusion." — J. J. Rousseau. 

One of the views from the house at Thoresby looked to- 

" the long line 

Deep delvd of flat canal, and all that toil 
Misled by tasteless fashion could atchieve 
To mar fair nature's lineaments divine." Mason. 

As in this instance I shall have occasion to propose a dif- 
ferent idea to that suggested by Mr. Brown, I must beg leave 
to explain the reasons on which I ground my opinion. 


Amidst the numerous proofs of taste and judgment which 
that celehrated landscape gardener has left for our admiration, 
he frequently mistook the character of running water ; he was 
too apt to check its progress by converting a lively river into a 
stagnant pool, nay, he even dared to check the progress of the 
furious Derwent at Chatsworth, and transform it into a tame 
and sleepy river unworthy the majesty of that palace of the 
mountains. Such was his intention with respect to the stream 
of water which flows through Thoresby park; but since the lake 
presents a magnificent expanse of water, the river below the 
cascade should be restored to its natural character: a rivulet in 

At Wentworth, although the quantity of water is very 
considerable, yet it is so disposed as to be little seen from the 
present approach, and when it is crossed in the drive on the 
head between two pools, the artificial management destroys 
much of its effect: they appear to be several distinct ponds, and 
not the series of lakes which nature produces in a mountainous 
country. But the character of this water should rather imitate 
one large river than several small lakes; especially as it is much 
easier to produce the appearance of continuity, than of such 
vast expanse as a lake requires. The following sketch is a view 
of the scenery presenting itself under the branches of trees, 
which act as a frame to the landscape. 

To preserve the idea of a river nothing is so effectual as a 


bridge; instead of dividing the Avater on each side, it always 
tends to lengthen its continuity by shewing the impossibiUty of 
crossing it by any other means, provided the ends are well con- 
cealed, which is fortunately the case with respect to this water. 
Although the upper side of the bridge would be very little seen 
because the banks are every where planted; yet as the bridge 
would not be more than fifty yards long, it would be more in 
character with the greatness of the place to have such a bridge 
as would no where appear a deception, and in this case the dif- 
ferent levels of the water (being only five feet) would never be 

The rippling motion of water is a circumstance to which 
Improvers have seldom paid sufficient attention. They generally 
aim at a broad expanse and depth, not considering that a 
narrow shallow brook in motion over a gravelly bottom is not 
less an object of beauty and worthy of imitation; the deep 
dell betwixt the boat-house and the bridge, might be ren- 
dered very interesting by bringing a lively brook along the 
valley; the embouchure of this brook should be laid with gravel, 
to induce cattle to form themselves in groups at the edge of 
the water, which is one of the most pleasing circumstances of 
natural landscape. It sometimes happens near large rivers that 
a clear spring bubbles from a fountain, and pours its waters 
rapidly into the neighbouring stream ; this is always considered 
a delightful object in nature, yet I do not recollect it has ever 
been imitated by art; it would be very easy to produce it in 
this instance by leading water in a channel from the upper pool, 
and after passing under ground by tubes for a few yards, let it 
suddenly burst through a bed of sand and stones, and being 



\\iws filtered hy ascent, it would ripple along the valley till it 
joined the great water. Milton was aware of this contrast be- 
tween the river and the rill, where he mentions amongst the 
scenery of his Allegro, 

" Shallow brooks and rivers wide. 

As appHcable to the subject of this chapter, I shall insert 
the following extract from the Red Book of Holkham. 

" The opposite banks in the middle part of the lake being the 
most beautiful ground in Holkham park, it is a desirable object 
to unite them without the long circuit which must be made by 
land round either end of the lake. 

A bridge, however elegant for the sake of magnificence, or 
however simple for the sake of convenience, would be improper; 
because it would destroy the effect of the lake, and give it the 
character of a river, which its round and abrupt terminations 
render improbable. I therefore propose to unite these opposite 
shores by a ferry-boat of a novel construction, so contrived as 
to be navigated with the greatest safety and ease, as explained 
by the following sketch. 



The ferry-boat to be a broad flat-bottomed punt A. at the 
bottom is a pulley-shaped wheel and axis B. about a yard in 
diameter, carrying a rope fastened to the two opposite sides of 
the lake, which will sink to admit the passing of other boats; 
this wheel is put in motion by the correspondent one above it, 
which has five times as many teeth as the pinion C. consequently 
at every five turns of the winch E. the wheel makes one revo- 
lution, and the boat advances three yards, or three times the 
diameter of the wheel; at each end of the boat the rope must 
pass through rings of brass smoothly polished, which will 
always guide it to one certain spot. The whole machinery, 
which is very simple, and not likely to be out of order, may be 
covered by a box C. C. to form a convenient seat in the centre 
of the ferry-boat, and the surface or deck of this boat D. 
may be covered with gravel and cement, having a hand-rail on 
each side; thus it will in a manner become a moveable part of 
the gravel walk." 

Where two pieces of water are at some distance from each 
other, and of such different levels that they cannot easily be 
made to unite in one sheet: if there be a sufficient supply to 
furnish a continual stream, or only an occasional redundance in 
winter, the most picturesque mode of uniting the two, is by 
imitating a common process of nature in mountainous countries, 


where we often see the water in its progress from one lake to 
Hnother, dashing among broken fragments, or gently gliding 
over ledges of rock, which form the bottom of the channel: this 
may be accomplished at Harewood, where the most beautiful 
stone is easily procured; but in disposing the ledges of rock, they 
should not be laid horizontally, but with the same slanting incli- 
nation that is observed more or less in the bed of the neighbour- 
ing river. A hint of such management is shewn under this bridge, 
the design of which may serve as a specimen of architecture, 
neither too much nor too little ornamented for rock scenery, in 
the neighbourhood of a palace. 

■•' jJn/V 

■"^»r/Tc.rA ''"•'"■ 



Of PLANTING for immedtafe and for future Bff'ect--'Clumps— 
Groups — Masses— New Mode of planting Wastes and Commons 
— the browsing Line described — Example Milton Abbey — 
Combination of Masses to produce great Woods — Example 
CooMBE Lodge — Character and Shape of Ground to be studied 
— Outline of new Plantations. 

The following observations on planting are not intended to pur- 
sue the minute detail so copiously and scientifically described in 
Evelyn's Sylva, and so frequently quoted, or rather repeated 
from him, in modern publications; I shall merely consider it as 
a relative subject: and being one of the chief ornaments in land- 
scape gardening when skilfully appropriated, I shall divide it 
into two distinct heads: the first including those single trees or 
groups which may be planted of a larger size to produce pre- 
sent effect; the second comprehending those masses of planta- 
tion destined to become woods or groves ior future generations. 

Since few of the practical followers of Mr. Brown possessed 
that force of genius which rendered him, according to Mason, 

" The living leader of thy powers, 

Great Nature "- 

it is no wonder that they should have occasionally copied the 
means he used, without considering the effect which he intended- 

to produce. Thus Brown has been treated with ridicule by 
the contemptuous observation, that all his improvements con- 
sisted in belting, clumping, and dotting; but I conceive the two 
latter ought rather to be considered as cause and effect, than as 
two distinct ideas of improvement; for the disagreeable and 
artificial appearance of young trees, when protected by what is 
called a cradle fence, together with the difficulty of making 
them grow thus exposed to the wind, induced Mr. Brown to 
form small clumps fenced round, containing a number of trees 
calculated to shelter each other, and to promote the growth of 
those few which might be uhimately destined to remain and form 
a group. 

This I apprehend was the origin and intention of those 
clumps, and that they never were designed as ornaments in 
themselves, but as the most efficacious and least disgusting man- 
ner of producing single trees and groups to vary the surface of 
a lawn, and break its uniformity by light and shadow. 

In some situations where great masses of wood, and a large 
expanse of open lawn prevail, the contrast is too violent, and 
the mind becomes dissatisfied by the want of unity; we are 
never well pleased with a composition in natural landscape, 
unless the wood and the lawn are so blended that the eye cannot 
trace the precise limits of either ; yet it is necessary that each 
should preserve its original character in broad masses of light 
and shadow; for although a large wood may be occasionally 
relieved by clearing small openings to break the heaviness of 
the mass, or vary the formality of its outline, yet the general 
character of shade must not be destroyed. 

In like manner the too great expanse of light on a lawn must 


be broken and diversified by occasional shadow, but if too 
many trees be introduced for this purpose, the effect becomes 
fritter'd, and the eye is offended by a deficiency of composition, 
or, as the painter would express it, of a due breadth of light and 
shade. Now it is obvious, that in newly formed places, such 
a redundance of trees will generally remain from former hedge- 
rows, that there can seldom be occasion to increase the number 
of single trees, though it will often be advisable to combine them 
into proper groups. 

It is a mistaken idea scarcely worthy of notice, that the beauty 
of a group of trees consists in odd numbers, such as five, seven, 
or nine; a conceit which I have known to be seriously asserted. 
I should rather pronounce that no group of trees can be natural 
in which the plants are studiously placed at equal distances, 
however irregular in their forms. Those pleasing combinations 
of trees which we admire in forest scenery, will often be found 
to consist of forked trees, or at least of trees placed so near each 
other that the branches intermix, and by a natural effort of 
vegetation the stems of the trees themselves are forced from 
that perpendicular direction, which is always observable in trees 
planted at regular distances from each other. No groups will 
therefore appear natural unless two or more trees are planted 
very near each other,P whilst the perfection of a group consists 
in the combination of trees of different age, size, and character. 

^ To produce this effect two or more trees should sometimes be planted in the same 
hole, cutting their roots so as to bring them nearer together; and we sometimes 
observe great beauty in a tree and a bush thus growing together, or even in trees of 
different characters, as the great oak and ash at Welbeck, and the oak and beech 
in Windsor Forest. Yet it will generally be more consonant to nature if the groups 
be formed of the same species of trees. 


The two sketches in the annexed plate exemplify this remark ; 
the first represents a few young trees protected by cradles, and 
though some of them appear nearer together than others, it 
arises from their being seen in perspective, for I suppose them 
to be planted (as they usually are) at nearly equal distances. 
In the same landscape I have supposed the same trees grown to 
a considerable size, but from their equi-distance, the stems are 
all parallel to each other, and not like the group below, where 
being planted much nearer, the trees naturally recede from each 
other. A few low bushes or thorns produce the kind of group 
in the lower sketch, consisting of trees and bushes of various 
growth. It may be observed that the single tree, and every part 
of the upper sketch is evidently artificial, and that the lower 
one is natural, and like the groups in a forest. 

Another source of variety may be produced by such opake 
masses of spinous plants as protect themselves from cattle; thus 
stems of trees seen against lawn or water are comparatively dark, 
while those contrasted with a back ground of wood appear light. 
This difference is shewn in both these sketches: the stems of 
the trees A. A. appear light, and those at B. B. are dark, merely 
from the power of contrast, although both are exposed to the 
same degree of light. 

Where a large tract of waste heath or common is near the 
boundary of a park, if it cannot be inclosed, it is usual to dot 
certain small patches of trees upon it, with an idea of improve- 
ment; a few clumps of miserable Scotch firs, surrounded by a 
mud wall, are scattered over a great plain, which the modern im- 
prover calls " clumping the common." It is thus that Hounslow 
Heath has been clumped ; and even the vast range of country 


'-y^tCf/ii^.tc/y t ■/ct^nf^.i. 


^^^eiXi^A-e^r/ t /r^^Mf^ /^ 

LoJtHon Fiihlifh^ f^y/im^ /fto^ in- J.Tait.^ Hiph Hd^l>orn 


formerly the Forest of Sherwood, has submitted to this meagre 
kind of misnamed ornament. 

It may appear unaccountable that these examples, which 
have not the least beauty either of nature or art to recommend 
them, should be so generally followed; but alteration is fre- 
quently mistaken for improvement, and two or three clumps of 
trees, however bad in themselves, will change the plain surface 
of a flat common. This I suppose has been the cause of plant- 
ing some spruce firs on Maiden Early Common, which fortu- 
nately do not grow; for if they succeeded, the contrast is so 
violent between the wild surface of a heath, and the spruce 
appearance of firs, that they would be misplaced : besides, the 
spiral firs are seldom beautiful, except when their lower branches 
sweep upon the ground, and this could never be the case with 
those exposed to cattle on a common. 

A far better method of planting waste land, where inclosures 
are not permitted, has been adopted with great success in Norfolk, 
by my much valued friend the late Robert Marsham, Esq. 
of Stratton. Instead of firs surrounded by a mud bank, he 
placed deciduous trees of every kind, but especially birch, in- 
termixed with thorns, crabs, and old hollies, cutting off their 
heads and all their branches about eight feet from the ground: 
these are planted in a puddle and the earth laid round their 
roots in small hillocks, which prevent the cattle from standing 
very near to rub them; and thus I have seen groups of trees 
which looked like bare poles the first year, in a very short time 
become beautiful ornaments to a dreary waste. 



This sketch shews the difFerence between the sort of clump 
so often seen on a common, and that mode of planting stumps 
of trees and thorns recommended in the foregoing page; the 
appearance at first is not very promising, but in a few years 
they will become such irregular groups and natural thickets as 
are represented below, while the formal clump of firs will for 
ever remain an artificial object. 


Mr. Gilpin, in his Forest Scenery, has given some specimens 
of the outlines of a wood, one of which is not unlike that beau- 
tiful skreen which bounds the park to the north of Milton 
Abbey, and which the first of the two annexed sketches more 



accurately represents. We have here a very pleasing and varied 
line formed by the tops of trees, but from the distance at which 
they are viewed, they seem to stand on one straight base Hne, 
although many of the trees are separated from the others by a 
considerable distance : the upper outline of this skreen is so 
happily varied, that the eye is not offended by the straight line 
at its base ; but there is another line which is apt to create 
disgust in flat situations, and for this reason; all trees unprotected 
from cattle will be stripped of their foliage to a certain height, 
and where the surface of the ground is perfectly flat, and forms 
one straight line, the stems of trees thus brought to view by the 
browsing of cattle, will present another straight line parallel to 
the ground, at about six feet high, which I shall call 


Whether trees be planted near the eye or at a distance from 
it, and whether they be very young plants or of the greatest 
stature, this browsing line will always be parallel to the surface 
of the ground, and being just above the eye, if the heads 
of single trees do not rise above the outline of more distant 
woods, the stems will appear only like stakes of different sizes 
scattered about the plain; this is evidently the eff'ect of those 
single thorns or trees in the upper sketch marked A. B. C. 

In the lower sketch I have represented a view of that long 

1 All trees exposed to cattle are liable to this browsing line, although thorns, crabs, 
and other prickly plants, will sometimes defend themselves ; the alder, from the bit- 
terness of its leaves, is also an exception; but where sheep only are admitted, the line 
will be so much below the eye, that it produces a different effect, of which great 
advantage may sometimes be taken, especially in flat situations. 





skreeii at Milton Abbey, which shuts out Castor Field, and 
which is certainly not a pleasing feature, from its presenting not 
only a straight line at the bottom, but the trees being all of the 
same age; the top outline is also straight. This skreen forms the 
back ground of a view taken from the approach, and the slide 
represents the difference between an attempt to break the uni- 
formity of the plain by open or by close plantations. 

The trees of this skreen are of such a height that we can 
hardly expect in the life of man to break the upper outline by any 
young trees, except they are planted very near the eye as at E. 
because those planted at F. or G. will, by the laws of perspec- 
tive, sink beneath the outline of the skreen; it is therefore not 
in our power to vary the upper line, and if the plantations be 
open, the browsing line will make a disagreeable parallel with 
the even surface of the ground; this can only be remedied by 
preventing cattle from browsing the underwood, which should 
always be encouraged in such situations; thus, although we 
cannot vary the upper line of this skreen, we may give such va- 
riety to its base as will, in some measure, counteract the flatness 
of its appearance. 

The browsing line being always at nearly the same distance 
of about six feet from the ground, it acts as a scale, by which 
the eye measures the comparative height of trees at any distance; 
for this reason the importance of a large tree may be injured by 
cuttine* the lower branches above this usual standard. It is 
obvious that the following trees are of different ages, characters, 
and heights, yet the browsing line is the same in all, and furnishes 
a natural scale by which we at once decide on their relative 
height at various distances. . . 


Let us suppose the same trees pruned or trimmeil by man, 
and not by cattle, and this scale will be destroyed; thus a 
full grown oak may be made to look like an orchard tree, or 
bv encouraging the under branches to grow lower than the 
usual standard, a thorn or a crab tree may be mistaken for aa 
oak at a distance. 

The last tree in the foregoing example is supposed to be one 
of those tall elms which, in particular counties, so much disfi- 
gure the landscape; it is here introduced for the sake of the 
following remark. 1 am sorry to have observed, that when trees 
have long been used to this unsightly mode of prunmg, it is 
difficult, or indeed impossible, to restore their natural shapes. 


because if the lower branches be sufiered to grow, the tops will 
soon decay; and therefore they must either be continued tall by 
occasionally cutting off the lateral branches, or they must be 
converted into pollards by cutting off their tops. 

Single trees, or open groups, are objects of great beauty 
when scattered on the side of a steep hill, because they may be 
made to mark the degree of its declivity, and the shadows of 
the trees are very conspicuous ; but on a plain the shadows 
are little seen, and therefore single trees are of less use. 

I am now to speak of plantations for future, rather than for 
immediate effect, and instead of mentioning large tracts of land 
which have been planted under my directions, where a naked, 
or a barren country, has been clothed without difficulty or 
contrivance, I shall rather instance a subject requiring peculiar 
management, especially as from its vicinity to a high road, I 
cannot perhaps produce a better example than the following 
extract furnishes. 

*' CooMBE Lodge, seen from the turnpike road, does not at 
present give a favourable impression; for though the view from 
the house, consisting of the opposite banks of Basildon, is richly 
wooded, the place itself is naked; and it is difficult to remove 
this objection without sacrificing more land to the purposes of 
beauty, than would be advisable, or even justifiable. 

Both the situation and the outline of the house at Coombe 
Lodge have been determined with judgment : the situation 


derives great advantage fi'om its southern aspect, and from the 
views which it commands; and the house derives importance 
from its extended front. Both these circumstances, however, 
contrihute to the bad opinion conceived of the place when 
viewed from the road, which is the point from whence its defects 
are most apparent. 

The front towards the road faces the south, and is therefore 
lighted by the sun during the greatest part of the day; but 
being backed by lawn and arable land, and not relieved by 
wood, the effect of sunshine is equally strong on the back ground 
as on the house, because there is not a sufficient opposition of 
colour to separate these different objects; but if, on the contrary, 
the house be opposed to wood, it will then appear light and 
conspicuous, the attention being principally directed to the 
mansion, while the other parts of the scene will be duly 

It is also proper that the grounds should accord with the 
size and stile of the place, and that the mansion be surrounded 
l)y its appropriate appendages. At present the character of 
the house, and that of the place, are at variance: the latter is 
that of a farm, but the character of the house is that of a gen- 
tleman's residence, which should be surrounded by pleasure 
ground, wood, and lawn; and although great credit is due to 
those gentlemen who patronize farming by their example, as 
well as by their influence, it would be a reflection on the good 
taste of the country to suppose that the habitation of the gen- 
tleman ought not to be distinguished from that of the farmer, as 
well in the character of the place, as by the size of the house. 

I shall not on this occasion enter into a discussion of the 


difference between a scene in nature, and a landscape on the 
paiiiter's canvas; nor consider the very different means by vs^hich 
the painter and the landscape gardener produce the same effect: 
I shall merely endeavour to shew^ how^ far the same principles 
would direct the professors of either art in the improvement of 
CooMBE Lodge, and more particularly in the form and character 
of the wood to the north of the house. 

Breadth, which is one of the first principles of painting, 
would prompt the necessity of planting the whole of the hill 
behind the house; but the improver, who embellishes the scene 
for the purposes of general utility and real life, must adopt what 
is convenient as well as beautiful. The painter, when he studies 
the perfection of his art, forms a correct picture, and takes 
beauty for his guide. The improver consults the genius of the 
scene, and connects beauty with those useful supporters, eco- 
nomy and convenience; and as Coombe Lodge would not be 
relieved by one large wood without a great sacrifice of land, 
the effect must be produced by planting a part only, whilst the 
judgment must be influenced by two principles belonging to the 
sister art, breadth and intricacy. 

Breadth directs the necessity of large masses or continued 
lines of plantation, whilst intricacy suggests the shape and 
direction of the glades of lawn, and teaches how to place loose 
groups of trees, and separate masses of brushwood, where the 
outline might otherwise appear hard; and by occasional inter- 
ruptions to the flowing lines of grass, with suitable recesses and 
projections of wood. Intricacy contrives to *' lead the eye a 
wanton chase," producing variety Avithout fritter, and continuity 
without sameness. 


There is another principle to guide the improver in planting 
the hill in question, which may be derived from the art of 
painting, and belongs to perspective. It is evident, that if the 
whole bank were planted, its effect would be good from every 
point of view: it is no less evident, that where it is necessary to 
regard economy in planting, and, as in the present instance, to 
produce the effect of clothing by several lines of wood, instead 
of one great mass; that effect from some points of sight may be 
good, from some indifferent, and from others bad; it is there- 
fore necessary to consider how those lines of plantation, which 
produce a good effect from the house, will appear in perspective 
from different heights and from different situations, and this 
question has been determined by various circumstances of the 
place itself. 

This subject was elucidated by as many drawings as there 
were stations described ; but as most of them were taken from 
the public road between Reading and Wallingford, the effect of 
these plantations will be seen from thence; and I have availed 
myself, as much as possible, of those examples which, from their 
proximity to a public road, are most likely to be generally 

If the more common appearances in nature were objects of 
our imitation, we should certainly plant the valleys and not the 
hills, since nature generally adopts this rule in her spontaneous 
plantations; but it is " la belle nature," or those occasional 


effects of extraordinary beauty, which nature furnishes as models 
to tlie Landscape Gardener. And although a wood on the 
summit of a bleak hill may not be so profitable, or grow so fast, 
as one in the sheltered valley, yet its advantages will be strongly 
felt on the surrounding soil. The verdure will be improved 
when defended from winds, and fertilized by the successive fall 
of leaves, whilst the cattle will more readily frequent the hills 
when they are sheltered and protected by suflicient skreens 
of plantation/ 

In recommending that the hills should be planted, I do not 
mean that the summits only should be covered by a patch or 
clump; the woods of the valleys should, on the contrary, seem 
to climb the hills by such connecting lines, as may neither 
appear meagre nor artificial, but following the natural shapes 
of the ground, produce an apparent continuity of wood falling 
down the hills in various directions. 

" Rich the robe, 

And ample let it flow, that nature wears 
On her thron'd eminence! where'er she takes 
Her horizontal march, pursue her step 
With sweeping train of forest; hill to hill 

Unite, with prodigality of shade." 


During the first few years of large plantations in a naked 
country, the outline, however graceful, will appear hard and 
artificial; but when the trees begin to require thinning, a few 

This remark is verified at Aston, where it is found that more cattle are fed in 
the park from the improved quality of the pasture, since the quantity has been reduced 
by the ample plantations made within the last ten years. 


single trees or groups may be brought forward. The precise 
period at which this may be advisable must depend on the 
nature of the soil; but so rich is the ground in which plantations 
were made at Aston, about ten years since, that this management 
has already been adopted with effect. Although it will again 
be repeated in the chapter treating of fences, I must observe in 
this place, that instead of protecting large plantations with 
hedges and ditches, I have generally recommended a temporary 
fence of posts and rails, or hurdles on the outside, and either 
advise a hedge of thorns to be planted at eight or ten yards 
distance from the outline, or rather that the whole plantation be 
so filled with thorns and spinous plants, that the cattle may not 
penetrate far when the temporary fences shall be removed, and 
thus may be formed that beautiful and irregular outline so much 
admired in the woods and thickets of a forest. 




Woods. — Whateleys Remarks exemplified at Shardeloes. — In- 
tricacy — Variety — A Drive «/ Bulstrode traced, mth Reasons 
Jhr its Course — Further Eivampleyrom Heathfield Park — 
A Belt — On thinning Woods — Leaving Groups — Opening a 
Lawn in great Woods — Example Chashiobury. 

" Observations on Modern Gardening," by the late Mr. 
Whateley, contain some remarks peculiarly applicable to the 
improvement of woods, and so clearly expressive of my ow^n 
sentiments, that I beg to introduce the ample quotation inserted 
in the note,' especially as the annexed drawing conveys a 

"The outline of a wood may sometimes be great, and always be beautiful; the 
first requisite is irregularity. That a mixture of trees and underwood should form a 
long straight line, can never be natural, and a succession of easy sweeps and gentle 
rounds, each a portion of a greater or less circle, composing altogether a line literally 
serpentine, is, if possible, worse: it is but a number of regularities put together in a 
disorderly manner, and equally distant from the beautiful, both of art and of nature. 
The true beauty of an outline consists more in breaks, than in sweeps; rather in angles, 
than rounds; in variety, not in succession. 

' ' The oudine of a wood is a continued line, and small variations do not save it from 
the insipidity of sameness; one deep recess, one bold prominence, has more effect 
than twenty little irregularities: that one divides the line into parts, but no breach is 
thereby made in its unity; a continuation of wood always remains, the form of it only 
is altered, and the extent is increased : the eye, which hurries to the extremity of 
Avhatever is uniform, delights to trace a varied line through all its intricacies, to pause 
from stage to stage, and to lengthen the progress. 


specimen of these rules, which require bat httle further 

The beech woods in Buckinghamshire derive more beauty 
from the unequal and varied surface of the ground on which 
they are planted, than from the surface of the woods themselves; 
because they have generally more the appearance of copses, 
than of woods : and as few of the trees are suffered to arrive to 

" The parts must not, however, on that account, be multiplied till they are too 
minute to be interesting, and so numerous as to create confusion. A few large parts 
should be strongly distinguished in their forms, their directions, and their situations; 
each of these may afterwards be decorated with subordinate varieties, and the mere 
growth of the plants will occasion some irregularity, on many occasions more will 
not be required. 

" Every variety in the outline of a wood must be 2i prominence or a recess; breadth 
in either is not so important as length to the one, and depth to the other; if the former 
ends in an angle, or the latter diminishes to a point, they have more force than a 
shallow dent or a dwarf excrescence, how wide soever: they are greater deviations 
from the continued line which they are intended to break, and their effect is to enlarge 
the wood itself. 

" An inlet into a wood seems to have been cut, if the opposite points of the entrance 
tally, and that shew of art depreciates its merit: but a difference only in the situation 
of those points, by bringing one more forward than the other, prevents the appear- 
ance, though their forms be similar. 

" Other points which distinguish the great parts, should in general be strongly 
marked; a short turn has more spirit in it than a tedious circuity; and a line broken 
by angles has a precision and firmness, which in an undulated line are wanting: the 
angles should indeed be a little softened, the rotundity of the plant, which forms 
them, is sometimes suilficient for that purpose; but if they are mellowed down too 
much they lose all meaning. 

" Every variety of outline hitherto mentioned, may be traced by the underwood 
alone; but frequently the same effects may be produced with more ease, and much 
more beauty, by difexv trees standing out from the thicket, and belonging, or seeming 
to belong to the wood, so as to make a part of its figure." 


great size, there is a deficiency of that venerable dignity which 
a grove always ought to possess. 

These woods are evidently considered rather as objects of 
profit than of picturesque beauty; and it is a circumstance to be 
regretted, that pecuniary advantage and ornament are seldom 
strictly compatible with each other. The underwood cannot be 
protected from cattle without fences, and if the fence be a live 
hedge, the trees lose half their beauty, while they appear con- 
fined within the unsightly boundary. To remedy this defect, the 
quick fence at Shardeloes has, in many places, been removed, 
and a rail placed at a little distance within the wood; but the 
distance is so small, that the original outline is nearly as distinct 
as if the fence were still visible, and the regular undulations of 
those lines give an artificial appearance to the whole scenery. 

A painter's landscape depends upon his management of light 
and shade: if these be too smoothly blended with each other 
the picture waufsjorce; if too violently contrasted, it is called 
hard. The light and shade of natural landscape requires no less 
to be studied than that of painting. The shade of a landscape- 
gardener is wood, and his lights proceed either from a lawn, 
from water, or from buildings. If on the lawn too many single 
trees be scattered, the effect becomes frittered, broken, and 
diftuse; on the contrary, if the general surface of the lawn be 
too naked, and the outline of the woods form an uniform heavy 
boundary between the lawn and the horizon, the eye of taste 
will discover an unpleasing harshness in the composition, which 
no degree of beauty, either in the shape of the ground or in the 
outline of the woods, can entirely counteract. In this state the 
natural landscape, like an unfinished picture, will appear to 


want the last touches of the master: this woiikl be remedied on 
the canvas in proportion as the picture became more highly 
finished; but on the ground, it can only be effected by taking 
away many trees in the front of the wood, leaving some few 
individually and more distinctly separated from the rest: this 
will give the finishing touches to the outline where no other 
defect is apparent. 

The eye, or rather the mind, is never long delighted with 
that which it surveys without effort at a single glance, and 
therefore sees without exciting curiosity or interest. It is not 
the vast extent of lawn, the great expanse of water, or the long 
range of wood, that yields satisfaction; for these, if shapeless, 
or, which is the same thing, if their exact shape, however large, 
be too apparent, only attract our notice by the space they 
occupy, " to fill that space with objects of beauty, to delight 
" the eye after it has been struck, to fix the attention where it 
" has been caught, to prolong astonishment into admiration, are 
*' purposes not unworthy of the greatest designs." 

This can only be effected by intticacy, the due medium 
between uniformity on the one hand, and confusion on the 
other; which is produced by throwing obstacles in the way to 
amuse the eye, and to retard that celerity of vision so natural, 
where no impediments occur to break the uniformity of objects. 
Yet while the hasty progress of the eye is checked, it ought 
not to be arrested too abruptly. The mind requires a continuity, 
though not a sameness; and while it is pleased with succession 
and variety, it is offended by sudden contrast, which destroys 
the unity of composition. 

There is a small clump at B. which is of great use in breaking 


the outline of the wood beyond it; and there is a dell or scar 
in the ground at C. that may also be planted for the like pur- 
pose. It is a very common expedient to mend an outline by 
adding new plantation in the front of an old one: but although 
the improver may plant large woods with a view to future ages, 
yet something appears due to the present day. If by cutting 
down a few trees in the front of a large wood, the shape of its 
outline may immediately be improved in a better manner, than 
can be expected from a solitary clump a century hence; it is 
surely a more rational system of improvement than so long to 
endure a patch surrounded by an unsightly fence, in the distant 
hope of effects which the life of man is too short to realize. 

There is a part of the wood at D. so narrow as to admit the 
light between the stems of the trees; this naturally suggests the 
idea of adding new plantation. But the horizon is already 
uniformly bounded by wood, and the mind is apt to affix the 
idea of such boundary being the limit of the park, as strongly 
as if the pale itself were visible; on the contrary, the ground 
falling beyond this part, and a range of wood sweeping over 
the brow of the hill, it is better to clear away some of the trees, 
to increase the apparent extent of lawn. Instead of destroying 
the continuity of wood, this will increase its quantity; because 
the tops of the trees being partly seen over the opening, the 
imagination will extend the lawn beyond its actual boundary, 
and represent it as surrounded by the same chain of woods. 

I have often heard it asserted as a general maxim in gardening, 
that hills should Ijc planted and valleys cleared of wood. This 
idea perhaps originated, and ought only to be implicitly followed 
in a flat or tame country, where the hills are so low as to require 


greater height by planting, and the valleys so shallow, that 
trees would hide the neighbouring hills: but whenever the hills 
are sufficiently bold to admit of ground being seen between 
large trees in the valley and those on the brow of the hill, it 
marks so decided a degree of elevation, that it ought sedulously 
to be preserved. Instead therefore of removing the trees in the 
valley at E, I should prefer shewing more of the lawn above 
them, by clearing away some of the wood on the knoll at F. 
which I have distinguished by the pavilion: such a building 
would have many uses, besides acting as an ornament to the 
scenery, which seems to require some artificial objects to appro- 
priate the woods to the magnificence of the place; because 
wood and lawn may be considered as the natural features of 


The Red Book of Shardeloes contains a minute description 
of the rides made in the woods, with the reasons for every part 
of their course; but as this subject is more amply treated in 
my remarks on Bulstrode, the following extract is accompa- 
nied with a map, on which the course of an extensive drive is 
minutely described. This park must be acknowledged one of 
the most beautiful in England, yet I doubt whether Claude 
himself could find in its whole extent a single station from 
whence a picture could be formed. I mention this as a proof 
of the little affinity between pictures and scenes in nature. 

It is not uncommon to conduct a drive either round a park, 
or into the adjoining woods, without any other consideration 
than its length; and I have frequently been carried through a 
belt of plantation surrounding a place, without one remarkable 



object to call the attention from the trees which are every where 
mixed in the same unvaried manner. 

Although the verdure, the smoothness of the surface, and 
nature of the soil at Bulstrode, is such as to make every part 
of the park pleasant to drive over; yet there is a propriety in 
marking certain lines of communication which may lead from 
one interesting spot to another, and though a road of approach 
to a house ought not to be circuitous, the drive is necessarily 
so; yet this should be under some restraint. By the assistance 
of the map I shall describe the course of the drive at Bul- 
strode; and however devious it may appear on paper, it will, 
I trust, be found to possess such variety as few drives can 
boast; and that no part of it is suggested without sufficient 
reasons for its course. 

I would not here be understood to infer, that every park 
can boast those advantages which Bulstrode possesses, or that 
every place offers sufficient extent and variety for such a drive 
appropriated to pleasure only; but this is introduced as an 
archetype or example, from whence certain principles are reduced 
to practice. Some of my observations, in the course of this 
description, may appear to have been anticipated by Mr. 
Whately, and if I may occasionally deliver them as my own 
sentiments, I hope the coincidence in opinion with so respectable 
a theorist, will not subject me to the imputation of plagiarism. 



C-nqt^ave^. l/tf J.J^avter. 

Loruicn. Pubtt^lid j Jitnt' tSoi hy J. Tuilor: Jfit/h JTotbortt. 



Takino" the departure from the house along the valley towards 
the north, it passes the situation proposed for a cottage at 
No. 1, from thence ascends to the summit of the chalk cliff 
that overhangs the dell at No. 2, and making a sharp turn at 
No. 3. to descend with ease, it crosses the head of the valley 
and enters the rough broken ground, which is curious for the 
variety of plants, at No. 4. 

From the several points No. 1, 2, and 3, the view along 
the great valley is nearly the same, l)ut seen under various cir- 
cumstances of foreground: at No. 4. it crosses the approach 
from London, and passes through an open grove No. 5. 

The drive now sweeps round on the knoll at No. 6, 
along a natural terrace, from which the opposite hill and the 
house appear to great advantage. From hence crossing the 
valley No. 7, among the finest trees in the park, it passes a deep 
romantic dell at No. 8, which might be enlivened by water, 
as a drinking pool for the deer, and then as it will pass at 
No. 9, near the side of the Roman camp, I think the ' drive 
should be made on one of the banks of the Vallum ; because 
it is a circumstance of antiquity worthy to be drawn into 
notice, and by being elevated above the plain, we shall not 
only see into the intrenchment, but remark the venerable trees 
which enrich its banks; these trees are the growth of many 

' This great work being in a progressive state, the reader will observe that some 
parts of this drive are mentioned as not yet completed. 


centuries, yet they lead the mind back to the far more ancient 
date of this encampment, when the ground must have been a 
naked surface. Another advantage will also be derived from 
carrying the drive above the level of the plain. T7ie eye being 
raised above the brousing'' line, the park wall will be better hid by the 
lower branches of intermediate trees. At No. 10. the drive is less 
interesting, because the surface is flat; but such occasional tame- 
ness gives repose,"" and serves to heighten the interest of sub- 
sequent scenery; yet at this place, if the drive be made to 
branch along the Vallum, it will pass over the most beautiful 
part of the park, on a natural terrace at No. 11, and this will 
join the inner drive returning down the valley towards the 
kitchen garden. 

I am now to speak of the great woods called Fentum's, 
Piper's, Column's, Walk Wood, and Shipman's, in which a 
serpentine drive has been formerly cut, which no one would 
desire to pass a second time, from its length, added to the total 
absence of interest or variety of objects; but following the taste 
which supposes " nature to abhor a straight line," this drive 
meanders in uniform curves of equal lengths, and the defect is 
increased by there being only one connexion with the park, while 
the other end of the drive finishes at a jjreat distance across Fulmer 
Common. The first object therefore of improvement will be to 
form such a line of connexion with the park as may make it seem 
a part of the same domain, and this would be more easily done 

" The browsing line is explained in Chap. IV. 

* The excess of variety may become painful, and therefore in a long drive some 
parts should be less interesting, or, if possible, should excite no interest, and be 
indifferent without exciting disgust. 


if the hollow way road under the park wall, could be removed; 
because otherwise the drive must cross the road twice at No. 12, 
as I suppose it to enter a field at No. 13, which might be 
planted to connect it with the Broomfield copse No. 14, from 
whence, after crossing several interesting small inclosures, with 
forest-like borders, it enters and sweeps through the wood 
Little Fentums No. 16, to join the old drive, or at least such 
parts of it as can be made subservient to a more interesting 
line. After crossing a valley and streamlet at No. 17, and ano- 
ther at No. 18, it should ascend the hill of Piper's Wood, in 
which there are at present no drives, and at No. 19- a branch 
may lead on to the common, as a green way to London. The 
drive sweeping round to No. 20. opens on a view of the village 
and valley of Fulmer, with a series of small ponds, which, in 
this point of view, appear to be one large and beautiful piece 
of water: this scene may be considered the most pleasing 
subject for a picture, during the whole course of the drive. This 
w ould be a proper place for a covered seat, with a shed behind 
it for horses or open carriages;^ but it should be set so far 
back as to command the view under the branches of trees, 
which are very happily situated for the purpose at No. 20. 

From hence the drive descends the hill in one bold line 
No. 21, with a view towards the opposite wood across the valley. 
Having again ascended the hill in wood, there are some parts 
of the present drive which might be made interesting by various 

y In long drives such attention to convenience is advisable; a thatched hovel of 
Doric proportions, may not only be made an ornament to the scenery, but it will 
often serve for a shelter from sudden storms in our uncertain climate ; for this reason 
it should be large enough to contain several open carriages. 


expedients. At No. 22. one side of the drive might be opened to 
shew the opposite hanging wood in glades along the course of 
the drive. At No. 23. a shorter branch might be made to avoid 
the too great detour, though there is a view into the valley of 
Fidmer at No. 24. worthy to be preserved.' In some parts the 
width of the drive might be varied, and some of the violent cur- 
vatures corrected; in others the best trees might be singled out 
and little openings made to be fed by sheep occasionally; and 
another mode of producing variety would be to take away certain 
trees, and leave others, where any particular species abound: thus 
in some places, the birches only might be left, and all the oaks and 
beech and other plants removed, to make in time a specimen 
of Birkland forest, while there are some places where the holley 
and hawthorn might be encouraged, and all taller growth give 
place to these low shrubs with irregular shapes of grass flowing 
among them. This would create a degree of variety that it is 
needless to enlarge upon. 

The course of the drive through Shipman's Wood No. 26, 
may be brought lower down the hill to keep the two lines as 
far distant from each other as possible, and also to make the 
line easier round the knoll at No. 28, though an intermediate 
or shorter branch may also diverge at No. 27, towards the 
valley. There is some difficulty in joining this drive with the 
park without going round the gardener's house ; but as the 

' I have distinguished, by Italics, some peculiar circumstances of variety, from 
having observed great sameness in the usual mode of conducting a drive through a belt 
of young plantation, where trees of every species are mixed together. There is 
actually more variety in passing from a grove of oaks to a grove of firs, or a scene of 
brushwood, than in passing through a wood composed of a hundred diiferent species 
of trees as they are usually mixed together. 


kitchen garden must be seen from this part of the drive, and as 
it forms a leading feature in the establishment of Bulstrode, it 
will sometimes become part of the circuit to walk through it, 
and the carriages may enter the drive again at No. 31, I have 
therefore described two ways, No. 29, and No. 30, as I suppose 
the bottom of this valley to be an orchard, through which the 
drive may pass, or make the shorter line along the garden wall 

to No. 31. 

The course along the valley is extremely interesting, and as 
some consider the farm yard and premises a part of the beauty, 
as well as the comfort, of a residence in the country, I have sup- 
posed one branch of the drive No. 32, to pass near a large tree, 
and the other to go on the bank at No. S3, and cross the corner 
of Hedgerly Green, which I suppose might be planted round the 
gravel pit; but when the drive enters the farm enclosures, it ought, 
if possible, to follow the course of the hedges, and not to cross a 
field diagonally. From No. 34. to No. 35, is perfectly flat, and 
follows the line of the hedges to the corner at No. 35, where a 
new scene presents itself, viz. a view towards the village of 
Hedgerley, in a valley, surrounded Avith woody banks. The drive 
now skirts along the hedge and passes at No. 3Q. a farm house, 
which might be opened to the field, and then enters Wapsey's 
Wood, in which the first bold feature will present itself at 
No. 37, where the drive may come so near the edge as to shew 
the view along the valley, and the amphitheatre of wood sur- 
rounding these small enclosures: it then passes through the 
wood to a very large oak at No. 38, which may be brought into 
notice by letting the drive go on each side of it, and afterwards 
following the shape of the ground it sweeps round the knoll at 


No. 39, with a rich view of the opposite bank across the high 
road, seen under large trees; it then ascends the hill by the 
side of a deep dell at No. 40, and makes a double at No. 41, to 
cross the valley, that it may skirt round the knoll on the furze 
hill at No. 42, from whence it descends into the valley at No. 43, 
and either returns to the house by the approach from Oxford, 
or is continued under the double line of elms at No. 44, to 
ascend by the valley from whence the drive began. 

To some persons this description may appear tedious, to 
others it will perhaps furnish amusement to trace the course of 
such a line on the map; but I have purposely distinguished by 
Italics, some observations containing principles which have not 
before been reduced to practical improvement. 

Heathfield Park is one of those subjects from whence my 
art can derive little credit: the world is too apt to mistake alte- 
ration for improvement, and to applaud every change, although no 
higher beauty is produced. The character of this park is strictly 
in harmony with its situation; both are splendid and magnificent; 
yet a degree of elegance and beauty prevails, which are rarely to 
be found where greatness of character, and loftiness of situation, 
are the predominant features: because magnificence is not always 
united with convenience, nor extent of prospects with interesting 
and beautiful scenery. The power of art can have but little 


influence in increasing the natural advantages of Heathfielcl Park. 
It is the duty of the improver to avail himself of those beauties 
which nature has profusely scattered, and by leading the stranger 
to the most pleasing stations to call his attention to those objects 
which from their variety, novelty, contrast, or combination, are 
most likely to interest and delight the mind. On this foundation 
ought to be built the future improvement of Heathfield Park ; 
not by doing violence to its native genius, but by sedulously 
studying its true character and situation: certain roads, walks, 
or drives, may collect the scattered beauties of the place, and 
connect them with each other in lines, easy, natural, and 

A common error by which modern improvers are apt to be 
misled, arises from the mistake so often made in adopting extent 
for heautif. Thus the longest circuit is frequently preferred to 
that which is most interesting; not indeed by the visitors, but 
by the fancied improver of a place. This I apprehend was the 
origin, and is always the tedious effect, of what is called a Belt; 
through which the stranger is conducted that he may enjoy the 
drive, not by any striking points of view or variety of scenery, 
but by the number of miles over which he has traced its course, 
and instead of leading to those objects, which are most worthy 
our attention, it is too common to find the drive a mere track 
round the utmost verge of the park; and if any pleasing features 
excite our notice, they arise rather from chance than design. 

To avoid this popular error therefore, I shall endeavour to avail 
myself of natural beauties in this drive, without any unnecessary 
circuit calculated to surprise by its extent. I shall rather select 
those points of view which are best contrasted with each other, 


or which discover new features, or the same under different 
circumstances of foreground; beguiling the length of the way 
by a succession of new and pleasing objects. 

If the circuitous drive round a place becomes tedious by its 
monotony, we must equally avoid too great sameness or confine- 
ment in any road which is to be made a path of pleasure: a 
short branch from the principal drive, although it meets it again 
at a little distance, relieves the mind by its variety, and stimu- 
lates by a choice between two different objects; but we must 
cautiously avoid confusion, lest we cut a wood into a labyrinth. 
The principal Road at Heath field leads towards the tower, the 
other is no less interesting where it bursts out on one of those 
magnificent landscapes so pleasing in nature, yet so difficult to 
be represented in painting; because quantity and variety are apt 
to destroy that unity of composition which is expected in an 
artificial landscape: for it is hardly possible to convey an 
adequate and distinct idea of those numerous objects so wonder- 
fully combined in this extensive view; the house, the church, 
the lawns, the woods, the bold promontory of Beechy Head, 
and the distant plains bounded by the sea, are all collected in 
one splendid picture, without being crowded into confusion. 

This view is a perfect landscape, while that from the tower 
is rather a prospect; it is of such a nature as not to be well 
represented by painting ; because its excellence depends upon 
a state of the atmosphere, which is very hostile to the painter's 
art. An extensive prospect is most admired when the distant 
objects are most clear and distinct ; but the painter can repre- 
sent his distances only by a certain haziness and indistinctness 
which is termed aerial perspective. I cannot dismiss this subject 


without expressing the pleasure which was excited in my mind 
on finding a lofty tower erected by the present possessor, and 
consecrated as a tribute of respect and gratitude to that gallant 
Commander, for his pubhc services, who derived his title of 
Heathfield from this domain, and his military glory from the 
rock of Gibraltar. Over the door is inscribed in large letters, 
made of the metal from the gun-boats destroyed, 


In the woodland counties, such as Hertfordshire, Hereford- 
shire, Hampshire, &c. it often happens that the most beautiful 
places may rather be formed hy falling, than by planting trees ; 
but the effect will be very different whether the axe be com- 
mitted to the hand of genius or the power of avarice. The 
land steward, or the timber merchant, would mark those trees 
which have acquired their full growth and are fit for immediate 
use, or separate those which he deems to stand too near toge- 
ther, but the man of science and of taste will search with 
scrutinizing care for groups and combinations, such as his me- 
mory recalls in the pictures of the best masters; these groups 
he will studiously leave in such places as will best display their 
varied or combined forms: he will also discover beauties in a 
tree which the others would condemn for its decay; he will 
rejoice when he finds two trees whose stems have long grown 
so near each other that their branches are become interwoven ; 


he will examine the outline formed by the combined foliage of 
many trees thus collected in groups, and removing others near 
them he will give ample space for their picturesque effect: 
sometimes he will discover an aged thorn or maple at the foot 
of a venerable oak, these he will respect not only for their 
antiquity, being perhaps coeval with the father of the forest; 
but knowing that the importance of the oak is comparatively 
increased by the neighbouring situation of these subordinate 
objects ; this will sometimes happen when young trees grow 
near old ones, as when a light airy ash appears to rise from the 
same root with an oak or an elm. These are all circumstances 
dependent on the sportive accidents of nature, but even where 
art has interfered, where the long and formal line of a majestic 
avenue shall be submitted to his decision, the man of taste will 
pause, and not always break their venerable ranks, for his hand 
is not guided by the levelling principles or sudden innovations 
of modern fashion; he will reverence the glory of former ages, 
while he cherishes and admires the ornament of the present, 
nor will he neglect to foster and protect the tender sapling 
which promises with improving beauty to spread a grateful 
shade for future " tenants of the soil." 

To give however such general rules for thinning woods as 
might be understood by those who have never attentively and 
scientifically considered the subject, would be like attempting 
to direct a man who had never used a pencil to imitate the 
groups of a Claude or a Poussin/ 

It is in the act of removing trees and thinning woods that the landscape gardener 
must shew his intimate knowledge of pleasing combinations, his genius for painting, 
and his acute perception of the principles of an art which transfers the imitative, 


On this head I have frequently found my instructions 
opposed, and my reasons unintelligible to those who look at a 
wood, as an object of gain; and for this reason I am not sorry 
to have discovered some arguments in favour of my system, of 
more weight, perhaps, than those which relate to mere taste 
and beauty : these I shall beg leave to mention, not as the 
foundation on which my opinion is built, but as collateral props 
to satisfy those who require such support. 

1st. When two or more trees have long grown very near 
each other, the branches form themselves into one mass, or 
head ; and if any part be removed, the remaining trees will 
be more exposed to the power of the wind, by being heavier 
on one side, having lost their balance. 2d. If trees have long 
grown very near together, it will be impossible to take up the 
roots of one without injuring those of another : and lastly, 
although trees at equal distances may grow more erect, and 
furnish planks for the use of the navy, yet not less valuable to 
the ship-builder are those naturally crooked branches, or knees, 
which support the decks, or form the ribs, and which are always 
most likely to be produced from the outside trees of woods, or 
the fantastic forms which arise from two or more trees having 
grown very near each other in the same wood, or in hedge- 

It is therefore not inconsistent with the considerations of 
profit, as well as picturesque effect, to plant or to leave trees very 

though permanent beauties of a picture, to the purposes of elegant and comfortable 
habitation, the ever varying effects of light and shade, and the inimitable circum- 
stances of a natural landscape. 


near each other, and not to thin them in the usual manner 
without caution. 

In some places belonging to ancient noble famiUes, it is not 
uncommon to see woods of vast extent intersected by vistas and 
glades in many directions; this is particularly the case at Burley, 
and at Cashiobury. It is the property of a straight glade or 
vista to lead the eye to the extremity of a wood, without 
attracting the attention to its depth. 

I have occasionally been required to fell great quantities of 
timber, from other motives than merely to improve the land- 
scape; and in some instances this work of necessity has produced 
the most fortunate improvements. I do not hesitate, to say, 
that some woods might be increased five-fold in apparent quan- 
tity, by taking away a prodigious number of trees, which are 
really lost to view ; but unless such necessity existed, there is 
more difficulty and temerity in suggesting improvement by 
cutting down, however profitable, and however suddenly the 
effect is produced, than by planting, though the latter be tedious 
and expensive. 

I have seldom found great opposition to my hints for planting, 
but to cutting down trees innumerable obstacles present them- 
selves; as if, unmindful of their value, and heedless of their 
slow growth, I should advise a military abatis, or one general 
sweep, denuding the face of a whole country. What I should 


advise both at Burley and at Cashiobury,'' would be to open 
some large areas within the woods, to produce a spacious 
internal lawn of intricate shape and irregular surface, preserving 
a sufficient number of detached trees or groups, to continue the 
general effect of one great mass of wood. 

" This advice has been followed at Cashiobury since the above pages were written, 
and the elFect is all that I had promised to myself. 



Of Fences — The Boundary — The Separation — Example J'rom 
Sheffield Place — Fence to Plantations only temporary — 
The double Gate — Lines of Fences — of Roads — of Walks — 
of Rivers — all different. 

That the boundary fence of a place should be concealed from 
the house, is among the few general principles admitted in 
modern gardening; but even in this instance, want of precision 
has led to error; the necessary distinction is seldom made 
between the fence which incloses a park, and those fences which 
are adapted to separate and protect the subdivisions within 
such inclosure. For the concealment of the boundary various 
methods have been adopted, on which I shall make some 

1 . A plantation is certainly the best expedient for hiding the 
pales; but in some cases it will also hide more than is required. 
And in all cases, if a plantation surround a place in the manner 
commonly practised under the name of a belt, it becomes a 
boundary scarce less offensive than the pale itself. The mind 
feels a certain disgust under a sense of confinement in any 
situation, however beautiful, as Dr. Johnson has forcibly illus- 
trated in describing the feeling of Rasselas, in the happy valley 
of Abyssinia. 

2. A second method of concealing a fence is, by making it 


of such light materials as to render it nearly invisible; such are 
fences made of slender iron and wire painted green. 

3. A third method is, sinking the fence below the surface 
of the ground, by which means the view is not impeded, and 
the continuity of lawn is well preserved. Where this sunk fence 
or fosse is adopted, the deception ought to be complete ; but 
this cannot be where grass and corn lands are divided by such 
a fence ■ if it is used betwixt one lawn and another, the mmd 
acquiesces in the fraud even after it is discovered, so long as 
the fence itself does not obtrude on the sight. We must there- 
fore so dispose a fosse, or ha! ha! that we may look across it 
•ind not along it. For this reason a sunk fence must be straight 
and not curving, and it should be short, else the inmgi,m,-y 
freedom is dearly bought by the actual confinement, since nothing 
is so difficult to pass as a deep sunk fence. 

4 A fourth expedient I have occasionally adopted, and which 
(if I may use the expression) is a more bold deception than a 
sunk fence, viz. a light hurdle instead of paling; the one we are 
always used to consider as a fixed and immovable fence at the 
boundary of a park or lawn; the other only as an occasional divi- 
sion of one part from the other; it is a temporary inconvenience, 
and not a permanent confinement. 

It is often necessary to adopt all these expedients in the 
boundaries and subdivisions of parks; but the disgust e.xc.ted at 
seein.. a fence may be indulged too far, if in all cases we are 
to endeavour at concealment; and therefore the various situations 
and purposes of different sorts offences deserve consideration. 

However we may admire natural beauties, we ought always 
to recollect, that, without some degree of art and management. 


it is impossible to prevent the injury which vegetation itself will 
occasion : the smooth bowling green may be covered by weeds 
in a month, while the pastured ground preserves its neatness 
throughout the year. There is no medium between the keeping 
of art and of nature, it must be either one or the other, art or 
nature, that is, either mowed or fed by cattle; and this practical 
part of the management of a place forms one of the most difficult 
points of the professors of art, because the line of fence, which 
separates the dressed ground from the pasture is too often 
objectionable; yet there is not less impropriety in admitting 
cattle to feed in a flower garden, than in excluding them from 
such a tract of land as might be fed with advantage. 

At Sheffield Place, the beautiful and long meadow in 
Arno's Vale is a striking example of what I have mentioned; 
because, if it were possible, or on the principle of oeconomy 
advisable, to keep all this ground as neatly rolled and mowed 
as the lawn near the house, by which it would always appear 
as it does the first week after the hay is carried off; yet I contend 
that the want of animals and animation deprives it of half its 
real charms; and although many beauties must be relinquished 
by curtailing the number of walks, yet others may be obtained, 
and the whole will be more easily kept with proper neatness 
by judicious lines of demarcation, which shall separate the 
grounds to be fed, from the grounds to be mown; or rather by 
such fences as shall, on the one hand, protect the woods from 
the encroachments of cattle, and on the other, let the cattle 
protect the grass land from the encroachment of woods; for 
such is the power of vegetation at Sheffield Place, that every 
berry soon becomes a bush, and every bash a tree. 


From this luxuriant vegetation the natural shape of the vale 
is obliterated, the gently-sloping banks are covered with wood, 
and the narrow glade in the bottom is choked with spreading 
larches. It is impossible to describe by words, and without a 
map, how this line of demarcation should be effected ; but I 
am sure many acres might be given to cattle, and the scenery 
be improved, not only by such moving objects, but also by 
their use in cropping those vagrant branches which no art could 
watch with sufficient care and attention. It is to such accidental 
browsing of cattle that we are indebted for those magical effects 
of light and shade in forest scenery, which art in vain endeavours 
to imitate in pleasure grounds. 

Perhaps the brook might be made the natural boundary of 
Arno's Vale, where a deep channel immediately at the foot of 
the hill, with or without posts and rails, would make an effectual 
fence. It will perhaps be objected that a walk by the side of 
such a fence would be intolerable; yet surely this watercourse, 
occasionally filled with a lively stream, is far preferable to a dry 
channel; and yet the only walk from the house at present is by 
the side of what may be so called: and far from considering 
this a defect, I know it derives much of its interest from this 
very circumstance. A gravel walk is an artificial convenience, 
and that it should be protected, is one of its first requisites: 
therefore, so long as good taste and good sense shall coincide, 
the eye will be pleased where the mind is satisfied. Indeed, in 
the rage for destroying all that appeared artificial in the ancient 
style of gardening, I have frequently regretted the destruction 
of those majestic terraces which marked the precise line betwixt 
nature and art. 


To describe the various sorts of fences suitable to various 
purposes, would exceed the limits and intentions of this work : 
every county has its peculiar mode of fencing, both in the 
construction of hedges and ditches, which belong rather to the 
farmer than the landscape gardener; and in the different forms 
and materials of pales, rails, hurdles, gates, &c. my object is 
rather to describe such application of common expedients as 
may have some degree of use or novelty. 

Among these I shall first mention, that instead of surrounding 
a young plantation with a hedge and ditch, with live quick or 
thorns, I generally recommend as many, or even more, thorns 
than trees, to be intermixed in the plantation, and the whole to 
be fenced with posts and rails, more or less neat, according to 
the situation; but, except near the house, I never suppose this 
rail to continue after the trees (with the aid of such intermixed 
thorns) are able to protect themselves against cattle; and thus, 
instead of a hard marked outline, the woods will accpiire those 
irregularities which we observe in forest scenery, where in some 
few instances the trees are choked by the thorns, though in 
many they are nursed and reared by their protection. 

It often happens that a walk in a plantation or shrubbery is 
crossed by a road or a drift way; this has been ingeniously 
obviated (I believe originally by Mr. Brown) by making one 
pass over the other, and where the situation requires such 
expence, a subterraneous passage may either be made under the 


carriage road, as I have done at Welbeck, at Gayhurst, and 
at other places, or a foot bridge may be carried over the road, 
as T have frequently advised : but a more simple expedient will 
often answer the purpose, which I shall describe with the help 
of the annexed sketch, representing the ground plan of the inter- 
sected roads. 






Two light gates, like the rail fence to the plantation, are so 
hung to the posts A. and B. that they will swing either to the 
posts D. or C. and thus they will either close the spaces D. B. 
and A. C. leaving open the walk, or they may be shut so as to 
close the spaces A. D. and B. C. leaving open the road or drift 
way ; for this purpose the posts A. and B. to which the gates 
are hung, should be round, and the hinge turn on a pivot at 
the top; the other two posts may be square, or with a rebate 
to receive the gate. 

In the course of this work I may have frequent occasion to 
mention the necessity of providing a fence near the house, to 


separate the dressed lawn from the park or feeding ground: 
various ingenious devices have been contrived to reconcile, with 
neatness and comfort, the practice introduced by Mr. Brown's 
followers, of setting a house in a grass field. 

The sunk fence, or ha! ha! in some places, answers the 
purpose, in others a light fence of iron or wire, or even a wooden 
rail has been used with good effect, if not too high; but gene- 
rally near all fences the cattle make a dirty path, which, imme- 
diately in view of the windows, is unsightly; and where the 
fence is higher than the eye, as it must be against deer, the 
landscape seen through its bars becomes intolerable. After 
various attempts to remedy these defects by any expedient that 
might appear natural, I have at length boldly had recourse to 
artificial management, by raising the ground near the house 
about three feet, and by supporting it with a wall of the same 
materials as the house. In addition to this, an iron rail on 
the top only three feet high, becomes a sufficient fence, and 
forms a sort of terrace in front of the. house, making an avowed 
separation between grass kept by the scythe, and the park fed 
by deer or other cattle, while at a little distance it forms a 
base line or deep plinth, which gives height and consequence 
to the house. 

This will I know be objected to by those who fancy that 
every thing without the walls of a house should be natural; but 
a house is an artificial object, and to a certain distance around 
the house, art may be avowed: the only difference of opinion 
will be, where shall this line of utility, separating art from 
nature, commence? Mr. Brown said at the threshold of the 
door: yet he contradicted himself when he made, as he always 


did, another invisible line beyond it. On the contrary, I advise 
that it be near the house, though not quite so near: and that 
the line should be artificially and visibly marked.^ 

When Mr. Brown marked the outline of a great wood 
sweeping across hill and valley, he might indulge his partiality 
for a serpentine or graceful curve, which had been then newly 
introduced by Hogarth's idea respecting the line of beauty: but 
it may be observed that a perfectly straight line, drawn across a 
valley diagonally, appears to the eye the same as this line of 
fancied beauty, and therefore, in many cases, the line should 
be straight. I have already hinted in this Chapter that the 
fence of a wood or plantation should be considered as merely 
temporary, that is, till the thorns planted among the trees can 
supersede its use. Wherefore, it is of little consequence in 
what manner a hurdle, or rough posts and rails, without any 
hedge or ditch, may be placed: a straight line is ever the shortest, 
and I have often preferred it, especially as I know that a few 
trees or bushes at each end of such a line will prevent the eye 
from looking; along: its course. 

Sometimes it happens, from the intermixture of property 
or other causes, that the fence is obliged to make a very acute 
angle; this may occasionally be remedied by another line of 
fence fitting to its greatest projection; and as this same principle 
may be extended to roads, walks, or rivers, I shall explain it. 

' Examples of this may be seen at Bu lstrode, at Michel Grove, at Brentree 
HlXL, &c. 


The sharp elbow or projection of the fence A. ceases to be 
offensive if another fence can be joined to it as at B. and the 
same with the hne of road or walk; the branch obviates the 

It has been observed by the adversaries of the art, that 
exactly the same line will serve either for a road or a river, as 
it may be filled with gravel or with water. This ridicule may 
perhaps be deserved by those engineers who are in the habits 
of making navigable canals only, but the nice observer will see 
this material difference. 

The banks of a natural river are never equidistant, the water 
in some places will spread to more than twice the breadth it 
does in others ; this pleasing irregularity depends on the shape 
of the ground through which it flows ; a river seldom proceeds 
far along the middle of a valley, but generally keeps on one 
side, or boldly stretches across to the other, as the high ground 
resists, or the low ground invites its course : these circumstances 
in natural rivers should be carefully imitated in those of art, 


and not only the effects, but even the causes, if possible, should 
be counterfeited, especially in the form of the shores : thus the 
convex side of the river at A. should have its shores convex, or 
steep; and the concave side of the river at B. should have its 
shores concave, or flat; because by this means the course of the 
river is accounted for. 

There is another circumstance, with respect to lines, deserving 
attention. The course of a river may frequently shew two or 
more different bends, which do not so intersect each other as to 
impede the view along it; and these may be increased in propor- 
tion to the breadth of the river: but in a road, or a walk, 
especially if it passes through a wood or plantation, a second 
bend should never be visible. 



The degree of curve in a walk, or road, will therefore depend 
on its width; thus looking along the narrow line of walk, you 
will not see the second bend: but in the same curve, if the 
road be broader, we should naturally wish to make the curve 
bolder by breaking from it according to the dotted line from A. 
to B. in the diagram of the preceding page. 

When two walks separate from each other, it is always 
desirable to have them diverge in different directions as at A. 
rather than give the idea of re-unitlng, as at B. 

Where two walks join each other, it is generally better that 
they should meet at right angles, as at C. than to leave the sharp 
point as in the acute angle at D. 

The most natural course for a road, or walk, is along the 
banks of a lake or river; yet I have occasionally observed great 
beauty in the separation of these two lines; as where the water 
sweeps to the left, and the road to the right, or vice versa : the 
true effect of this circumstance I have often attempted to repre- 
sent on paper, but it is one of the many instances in which the 
reality and the picture excite different sensations. 


This Chapter might have included every necessary remark 
relative to fences, whether attached to parks or farms; but as I 
wish to enlarge upon the distinction between the improvements 
designed for ornament, and those for profit or gain, I shall 
endeavour to explain these different objects as they appear to 
me opposite in their views, and distinct in their characteristics. 
Both are, indeed, subjects of cultivation, but the cultivation in 
the one is husbandry, and in the other decoration. 



Ferme ornee, a Contradiction — Farm and ParJe distinct Objects — 
Experimental^ or useful Farm — Beauty and Profit seldom 

The French term Ferme ornee, was, I believe, invented by Mr. 
Shenstone, who was conscious that the English word Farm 
would not convey the idea which he attempted to realize in the 
scenery of the Leasowes. That much celebrated spot, in his 
time, consisted of many beautiful small fields, connected with each 
other by walks and gates, but bearing no resemblance to a farm 
as a subject of profit. I have never walked through these grounds 
without lamenting not only the misapplication of good taste, 
but that constant disappointment which the benevolent Shen- 
stone must have experienced in attempting to unite two objects 
so incompatible as ornament and profit. Instead of surrounding 
his house with such a quantity of ornamental lawn or park only, 
as might be consistent with the size of the mansion, or the extent 
of the property; his taste, rather than his ambition, led him to 
ornament the whole of his estate; vainly hoping that he might 
retain all the advantages of a farm, blended with the scenery of a 
park. Thus he lived under the continual mortification of disap- 
pointed hope, and with a mind exquisitely sensible, he felt 
equally the sneer of the great man, at the magnificence of his 


attempt, and the ridicule of the farmer, at the misapplication of 
his paternal acres. 

Since the removal of court yards and lofty garden walls 
from the front of a house, the true substitute for the ancient 
magnificence destroyed, is the more cheerful landscape of modern 
park scenery; and although its boundary ought in no case to 
be conspicuous, yet its actual dimensions should bear some 
proportion to the command of property by which the mansion 
is supported. If the yeoman destroys his farm by making what 
is called a Ferme ornee, he will absurdly sacrifice his income to 
his pleasure: but the country gentleman can only ornament his 
place by separating the features of farm and park; they are so 
totally incongruous as not to admit of any uniou but at the 
expence either of beauty or profit. The following comparative 
view will tend to confirm this assertion. 

The chief beauty of a patk consists in uniform verdure ; 
undulating" lines contrasting with each other in variety of forms; 
trees so grouped as to produce light and shade to display the 
varied surface of the ground ; and an undivided range of 
pasture. The animals fed in such a park appear free from con- 
finement, at liberty to collect their food from the rich herbage 
of the valley, and to range uncontrouled to the drier soil of the 

The farm, on the contrary, is for ever changing the colour 
of its surface in motley and discordant hues; it is subdivided by 
straight lines of fences. The trees can only be ranged in formal 

' I am aware that tlie word undulating is seldom applied to solid bodies, but I 
know no other word so expressive of that peculiar shape of ground consisting of alter- 
nate concave and convex lines flowing into each other. 


rows along the hedges; and these the farmer claims a right 
to cut, prune, and disfigure. Instead of cattle enlivening 
the scene by their peaceful attitudes or sportive gambols, 
animals are bending beneath the yoke, or closely confined 
to fatten within narrow enclosures, objects of profit, not of 

This reasoning may be further exemplified by an extract 
from the Red Book of Antony. 

The shape of the ground at Antony is naturally beautiful, 
but attention to the farmer's interest has ^ almost obliterated 
all traces of its original form; since the line offence, which the 
farmer deems necessary to divide arable from pasture land, is 
unfortunately that which, of all others, tends to destroy the 
union of hill and valley. It is generally placed exactly at the 
point where the undulating surface changes from convex to 
concave, and of course is the most oflfensive of all intersecting 
lines; for it will be found, that a line of fence following the 
shape of the ground, or falling in any direction from the hill to 
the valley, although it may oflfend the eye as a boundary, yet 
it does not injure, and in some instances may even improve the 
beautiful form of the surface. No great improvement therefore 
can be expected at Antony, until almost all the present fences 
be removed, although others may be placed in more suitable 

I am aware that in the prevailing rage for agriculture, 
it is unpopular to assert, that a farm and a park may not 
be united ; but after various eflforts to blend the two, without 

* In this, as in many other cases, I transcribe from the Red Book, as if my plans 
were not yet executed. 




^'a//rtfd ff^uip 

/..■ii.liii /-/rM;//,,,/ .r„ne ,l,lS„jt,v .r.T,i\l,.r !l,f,h J/oUuri, . 


violation of good taste, I am convinced that they are, and must 
be distinct objects, and ought never to be brought together in 
the same point of view. 

To guard against misrepresentation, let me be allowed 
to say, each may fill its appropriate station in a gentleman's 
estate: we do not wish to banish the nectarine from our desserts, 
although we plant out the wall which protects it; nor would I 
expunge the common farm from the pleasures of the country, 
though I cannot encourage its motley hues, and domestic occu- 
pations, to disturb the repose of park scenery. It is the union., 
not the existence, of beauty and profit, of laborious exertion and 
pleasurable recreation, against which I would interpose the 
influence of my art; nor let the fastidious objector condemn the 
effort, till he can convince the judgment, that without violation 
of good taste he could introduce the dairy and the pigsty (those 
useful appendages of rural economy) into the recesses of the 
drawing room, or the area of the saloon. 

The difticulty of uniting a park and a farm arises from 
this material circumstance, that the one is an object of 
beauty, the other of profit. The scenery of both consists 
of Ground, Trees, Water, and Cattle ; but these are very dif- 
ferently arranged. And since a park is less profitable than 
arable land, the more we can diminish the quantity of the 
former, provided it still be in character with the style of 
the mansion, the less we shall regret the sacrifice of profit to 

The shape and colour of corn fields, and the straight lines 
of fences, are so totally at variance with all ideas of picturesque 
beauty, that I shall not venture to suggest any hints on the 


subject of a farm, as an ornament; 3'^et I think there might be 
a distinction made between the farm of a tenant, who must 
derive benefit from every part of his land, and that occupied by a 
gentleman for the purposes of amusement or experiment. 

It is usual in Hampshire, and indeed in the neiglibourhood 
of many forests, to divide the enclosures of a farm by rows 
of copse wood and timber, from ten to twenty yards wide; at 
a little distance these rows appear united, and become one rich 
mass of foliage. This kind of subdivision I should wish to 
be generally adopted on experimental farms. The advantages 
of such plantations will be, 

Shady and pleasant walks through the farm — to afford 
shelter to corn, and protect the cattle which are grazed on 
the farm — to give the whole, at a distance, the appearance of 
one mass of wood — to make an admirable cover for game ; 
and lastly, if it should ever hereafter be thought advisable to 
extend the lawn, such plantations will furnish ample choice of 
handsome trees to remain single or in groups, as taste or judg- 
ment shall direct. 

In some counties the farms consist chiefly of grass land, but 
even a dairy farm must be subdivided into small enclosures; and 
although it is not necessary that the lawn near a mansion should 
be fed by deer, yet it is absolutely necessary tliat it should have 
the appearance of a park, and not that of a farm; because, in 
this consists the only difference betwixt the residence of a 
landlord and his tenant, the gentleman and the farmer : one 
considers how to make the greatest immediate advantage of 
his land; the other must, in some cases, give up the idea of 
profit for the sake of that beauty which is derived from an 


air of liberty totally inconsistent with those lines of conhiienieni 
and subdivision which are characteristic of husbandry. 

Since the beauty of pleasure ground, and the profit of a 
farm, are incompatible, it is the business of taste and prudence 
so to disguise the latter and to limit the former, that park 
scenery may be obtained without much waste or extrava- 
gance ; but I disclaim all idea of making that which is most 
beautiful also most profitable : a plowed field, and a field of 
grass, are as distinct objects as a flower garden and a potatoe 
ground. The diff'erence between a farm and a park consists 
not only in the number of fences and subdivisions, but also in 
the management of the lines in which the fences of each should 
be conducted. The farmer, without any attention to the shape 
of the ground, puts his fences where they will divide the uplands 
from the meadows; and in subdividing the ground he aims only 
at square fields, and consequently straight lines, avoiding all 
angles or corners. This is the origin of planting those triangular 
recesses in a field, surrounded by wood, which the farmer deems 
useless; but which to the eye of taste produce efi^ects of light 
and shade. 

There is no mistake so common as that of filling up a 
recess in a venerable wood with a miserable patch of young- 
plantation. The outline of a wood can never be too boldly 
indented or too irregular; to make it otherwise by cutting ofl' 
the projections or filling up the hollows, shews a want of taste, 
and is as incongruous as it would be to smooth the furrowed 
bark of an aged oak. 

In a park the fences cannot be too few, the trees too ma- 
jestic, or the views too unconfined. In a farm small enclosures 



are often necessary ; the mutilated pollard, or the yielding 
willow, in the farmer's eye, are often preferable to the lofty 
elm or spreading oak ; whilst a full crop of grain, or a copious 
swath of clover, is a more gladdening prospect than all the 
splendid scenery of wood and lawn from the windows of a 
palace. Small detached farms adapted to useful and laborious 
life, unmixed with the splendours of opulence, but supporters 
of national wealth, are indeed objects of interest in every point 
of view; they want not the adventitious aid of picturesque effect 
to attract peculiar notice ; to a benevolent mind they are more 
than objects of beauty; they are blessings to society; nor is it in- 
compatible with the pursuit of pleasure, sometimes to leave the 
boundaries of the park, and watch the exertions of laudable 
industry, or visit the cottages 

" Where cheerful tenants bless their yearly toil." 

The monopolist only can contemplate with delight his hun- 
dred acres of wheat in a single enclosure; such expanded avarice 
may emich the man, but will impoverish and distress, and (I 
had almost added) Avill ultimately starve mankind. 



Of Pleasure Givunds — FloxL'er Gardens, Example Bulstrode — 
Valley Field — Nuneham — Greenhouse and Conseivatory 
belong to a Flois^er Garden — Various modes of attaching them 
to a House — Difficult y — Objection — -Attempt to make them 

In the execution of" my profession I have often experienced 
great difficulty aud opposition in attempting to correct the 
false and mistaken taste for placing a large house in a naked 
grass field, without any apparent line of separation between the 
ground exposed to cattle and the ground annexed to the house, 
which I consider as peculiarly under the management of art. 

This line of separation being admitted, advantage may be 
easily taken to ornament the lawn with flowers and shrubs, and 
to attach to the mansion that scene of " embellished neatness," 
usually called a Pleasure Ground. 

The quantity of this dressed ground was formerly very consi- 
derable. The royal gardens of Versailles, or those of Kensington 
palace, when filled with company, want no other animation ; 
but a large extent of ground without moving objects, however 
neatly kept, is but a melancholy scene. If solitude delight, 
we seek it rather in the covert of a wood, or the sequestered 
alcove of a flower garden, than in the open lawn of an exten- 
sive pleasure ground. 


I have therefore frequently been the means of restoring acres 
of useless garden to the deer or sheep, to which they more 
properly belong. 

This is now carrying on with admirable effect at Bulstrode, 
where the gardens of every kind are on a great scale, and where 
fromthechoice and variety of the plants, the directionof the walks, 
the enrichment of art, and the attention to every circumstance 
of elegance and magnificence; the pleasure ground is perfect as 
a whole, while its several parts may furnish models of the 
following different characters of taste in gardening: the ancient 
garden, the American garden, the modern terrace walks, and the 
Jlower garden: the latter is, perhaps, one of the most varied 
and extensive of its kind, and therefore too large to be other- 
wise artificial, than in the choice of its flowers, and the embel- 
lishments of art in its ornaments. 

Flower gardens on a small scale may, with propriety, be 
formal and artificial ; but in all cases they require neatness and 
attention. On this subject I shall transcribe the following 
passage from the Red Book of Valley Field. ^ 

To common observers, the most obvious difference between 
Mr. Brown's style and that of ancient gardens, was the change 

' " Although I have never seen Valley Field myself, yet it flatters me to learn, 
that under the direction of my two sons, by taking advantage of the deep romantic 
glen and wooded banks of the river which flows through the grounds, and falls into 
the Frith of Forth at a short distance from the house, an approach has been made, 
which, from variet}', interest, and picturesque scenery, may vie with any thing of 
the kind in England ; while it remains a specimen of the powers of landscape gardening 
in that part of Scotland, where the art had been introduced only by those imitators of 
Mr. Brown's manner, who had travelled into the north. His own improvements were 
confined to England." 


from straight to waving or serpentine lines. Hence many of 
his followers had supposed good taste in gardening to consist in 
avoiding all lines that are straight or parallel, and in adopting 
forms which they deem more consonant to nature, without con- 
sidering what objects were natural and what were artificial. 

This explanation is necessary to justify the plan which I 
recommended for the canal in this flower garden : for while I 
shoidd condemn a long straight line of water in an open park, 
where every thing else is natural ; I should equally object to a 
meandering canal or walk, bv the side of a long straight wall, 
where every thing else is artificial. 

A flower garden should be an object detached and distinct 
from the general scenery of the place; and whether large or 
small, whether varied or formal, it ought to be protected from 
hares and smaller animals by an inner fence : within this enclo- 
sure rare plants of every description should be encouraged, and 
a provision made of soil, and aspect for every diff'erent class. 
Beds of bog earth should be prepared for the American plants : 
the aquatic plants, some of which are peculiarly beautiful, should 
grow on the surface or near the edges of water. The nu- 
merous class of rock plants should have beds of rugged stone 
provided for their reception, without the affectation of such 
stones being the natural production of the soil : but above all, 
there should be poles or hoops for those kind of creeping plants 
which spontaneously form themselves into graceful festoons, 
when encouraged and supported by art. 

Yet with all these circumstances the flower garden, except 
where it is annexed to the house, should not be visible from the 
roads or general walks about the place. It may therefore be of 


a character totally different from the rest of the scenery, and its 
decorations should be as much those of art as of nature. 

The flower garden at Nuneham/ without being formal, is 
highly enriched, but not too much crowded, with seats, temples, 
statues, vases, or other ornaments, which being works of art, 
beautifully harmonize with that profusion of flowers and curious 
plants which distinguish the flower garden from natural land- 
scape, although the walks are not in straight lines. 

But at Valley Field, where the llower garden is in front 
of a long wall, the attempt to make the scene natural would 
be affected ; and therefore as two great sources of interest in a 
place are variety and contrast, the only means by wJiich these 
can be introduced, are in this flower garden, which, as a sepa- 
rate object, becomes a sort of episode to the general and mag- 
nificent scenery. 

The river being every where else a lively stream rattling 
and foaming over a shallow bed of rock or gravel, a greater 
contrast will arise from a smooth expanse of water in the flower 
garden : to produce this must be a work of art, and therefore, 
instead of leading an open channel from the river to supply it, 
or making it appear a natural branch of that river, I recommend 
that the water should pass under ground, with regulating sluices 
or shuttles to keep it always at the same height. Thus the canal 
will be totally detached from the river, and become a distinct 

' Earl Harcourt, although possessing great good taste, gives the whole merit of 
this garden to Mason the poet, as he does of his pleasure grounds to Brown. Thus 
superior to that narrow jealousy which would deny the just tribute of praise to the 
professor, his lordship is satisfied with having been the liberal friend and patron of 


object, forming the leading feature of the scene to which it 
belongs; a scene purely artificial, where a serpentine canal 
would be as incongruous as a serpentine garden wall, or a 
serpentine bridge ; and, strange as it may appear, I have seen 
such absurdities introduced to avoid nature's supposed abhor- 
rence of a straight line. 

The banks of this canal, or fish pond, may be enriched with 
borders of curious flowers, and a light fence of green laths will 
serve to train such as require support, while it gives to the whole 
an air of neatness and careful attention. 

But as the ends of this water should also be marked by some 
building or covered seat, I have supposed the entrance to the 
flower garden to be under a covered passage of hoops, on which 
may be trained various sorts of creeping plants; and the farther 
end may be decorated by an architectural building, which I 
suppose to consist of a covered seat between two aviaries. 

It will perhaps be objected that a long straight walk can 
have little variety: but the greatest source of variety in a flower 
garden is derived from the selection and diversity of its shrubs 
and flowers. 

There is no ornament of a flower garden more appropriate 
than a conservatory or green-house, where the flower garden is 
not too far from the house ; but amongst the refinements of 
modern luxury, may be reckoned that of attaching a green- 
house to some room in the mansion, a fashion with which 1 
have so often been required to comply, that it may not be im- 


proper in this work, to make ample mention of the various 
methods by which it has been eflPected in different places. 

At BowooD, at WiMPOLE, at Bulstrode, at Attingham, 
at Dyrham Park, at Caenwood, atTnoRESBY, and some other 
large houses of the last century, green-houses were added to 
conceal offices behind them, and they either became a wing of 
the house, or were in the same style of architecture: but these 
were all built at a period when only orange trees and myrtles, or 
a very few other green-house plants, were introduced, and no 
light was required in the roof of such buildings. In many of 
them, indeed, the piers between each window are as large af^ 
the windows. 

Since that period, the numerous tribe of geraniums, ericas, 
and other exotic plants, requiring more light, have caused a 
very material alteration in the construction of the green-house; 
and perhaps the more it resembles the shape of a nursery-man's 
stove, the better it will be adapted to the purposes of a modern 

Yet such an appendage, however it may increase its interior 
comfort, will never add to the external ornament of a house of 
regular architecture: it is therefore generally more advisable to 
make the green-house in the flower garden, as near as possible 
to, without forming a part of the mansion ; and in these situa- 
tions great advantage may be taken of treillage ornaments to 
admit hght, whilst it disguises the ugly shape of a slanting roof 
of glass. 

There is one very material objection to a green-house imme- 
diately attached to a room constantly inhabited, viz. that the 
smell and damp from a large body of earth in the beds or pots, is 


often more powerful than the fragrance of the plants, therefore 
the conservatory should always be separated from the house bv 
a lobby or small anti-room. But the greatest objection arises 
from its want of conformity to the neighbouring mansion, since 
it is difficult to make the glass roof of a conservatory archi- 
tectural, whether Grecian or Gothic. 

An arcade is ill adapted to the purpose, because by the form 
of an arch the light is excluded at the top, where it is most 
essential in a green-house, for this reason, the flat gothic 
arch of Henry the Eighth is less objectionable, yet in such 
buildings we must suppose the roof to have been taken away 
to make room for glass; of this kind is the conservatory in front 
of Rendlesham House. 

In the adaptation of ancient forms to modern uses and inven- 
tions, we are often under the necessity of deviatinjj from the 
rules of true Gothic. Under such circumstances it is perhaps 
better to apply old expedients to new uses, than to invent a 
new and absurd stile of Gothic or Grecian architecture. At 
Plas-Newyd, where the house partakes of a Gothic cha- 
racter, I suggested the addition of a green-house, terminating 
a magnificent enfilade through a long line of principal apart- 
ments. The hint for this model is taken from the chapter 
rooms to some of our cathedrals, where an octagon roof is 
supported by a slender pillar in the middle, and if this were made 
of cast iron, supporting the ribs of a roof of the same materials, 
there would be no great impropriety in filling the interstices 
with glass, while the side window frames might be removed 
entirely in summer, making a beautiful pavilion at that season 
when the plants being removed, a green-house is generally a 


deserted and unsightly object. The effect of this building by 
uioonbght is shewn in the annexed sketch. And there are many 
summer evenings when such a pavilion would add new interest 
to the magnificent scenery of water and mountains with which 
Plas-Newyd every where abounds. ^ 

* In a conversation I had the satisfaction to enjoy with the late Earl of Orford, at 
Strawberry Hill, he shewed me the gradual progress of his knowledge in gothic 
architecture by various specimens in that house, in which he had copied the forms of 
mouldings without always attending to the scale or comparative proportion ; and his 
lordship's candour pointed out to me the errors he had at first committed. This error, 
in the imitators of gothic, often arises from their not considering the difference of 
the materials with which they work: if in the mullions of a window, or the ribs of a 
ceiling, they copy in wood or plaster, ornaments originally of stone, they must preserve 
the same massive proportions, that were necessary in that material, or they must 
paint it like wood, and not like stone: but if the architects of former times had known 
the use we now make of cast iron, we should have seen many beautiful effects of 
lightness in their works; and surely in ours, we may be allowed to introduce this new 
material for buildings, in the same manner that we may fairly suppose they would 
have done, had the inventioYi been known in their time: but wherever cast iron is used 
in the construction, it ought to be acknowledged as a support, either by gilding, or 
bronze, or any expedient that may shew it to be metal, and not wood or stone, other- 
M'ise it will appear unequal to its office. 


















Defence of the Art — Difference between Landscape Gardening and 
Painting — Further Answer to Messrs . V ricb and Knight — 
Cursory RemarJcs on views Jt'oni Rooms, Appropriation, Extent, 
Sfc. — Exainple from Attingham — Pictures may imitate 
Nature, but Nature is not to copy Pictures. 

At the time my former publication was in the press, the Art of 
Landscape Gardening was attacked by two gentlemen, Mr. 
Knight,^ of Herefordshire, and Mr. Price,' of Shropshire; and 
I retarded its publication till I could take some notice of the 
opinions of these formidable, because ingenious, opponents. 

Having since been consulted on subjects of importance in 
those two counties, I willingly availed myself of opportunities 
to deliver my sentiments as particular circumstances occurred, 

■^ Mr. Knight has endeavoured to ridicule all display of extent of property, which 
I consider one of the leading principles of the art. I contend that it is impossible to 
annex the same degree of importance to a modern house, however large, by the side 
of a high road, that may be justly given to one surrounded by an extensive park. To 
this principle of improvement I have given the name of app7'opriation. 

* Mr. Price builds a theory of improvement on the study of the best pictures, 
M'ithout considering how little affinity there is between the confined landscape exhi- 
bited on canvass, and the extensive range which the eye at once comprehends, and 
argues that, the best works of the painter should be models for the improver. 


and iherefore, with permission of the respective proprie- 
tors, I insert the following observations from the Red Books 
of SuFTON Court, in Herefordshire, and Attingham, in 

" My opinion concerning the improvement of Sufton Court, 
involving many principles in the art of landscape gardening, 
I take this opportunity of justifying my practice, in oppo- 
sition to the wild theory which has lately appeared: and shall 
therefore occasionally allude to this new system when it bears 
any relation to our objects at Sufton Court. 

Having already published a volume on the subject of land- 
scape gardening, it will be unnecessary to explain the motives 
which induced me to adopt this name for a profession, as 
distinct from the art of landscape painting, as it is from the art 
of planting cabbages, or pruning fruit trees. "^ The slight, and 
often gaudy sketches, by which I have found it necessary to 
elucidate my opinions, are the strongest proofs that I do not 
profess to be a landscape painter ; but to represent the scenes 
of nature in her various hues of blue sky, purple mountains, 

" " In the art of gardening, the great materials of the scene are provided by 

*' nature herself, and the artist must satisfy himself with that degree of expression 

•' which she has bestowed. 

" In a landscape, on the contrary, the painter has the choice of the circumstances 

" he is to represent, and can give whatever force or extent he pleases to the expression 

" he wishes to convey. In gardening the materials of the scene are few, and those 

" few unwieldy, and the artist must often content himself with the reflection that he 

*' has given the best disposition in his power to the scanty and intractible materials 

" of nature. In a landscape, on the contrary, the whole range of scenery is before 

" the eye of the painter." 



green trees, &c. whicli are often disgusting to the eye of a 
connoisseur in painting. 

The best painters in landscape have studied in Italy, or 
France, where the verdure of Enoland is unknown: hence arises 
the habit acquired by the connoisseur of admiring brown tints 
and arid foregrounds in the pictures of Claude and Poussin, and 
from this cause he prefers the bistre sketches to the green 
paintings of Gainsborough. One of our best landscape painters 
studied in Ireland, where tlie soil is not so yellow as in England; 
and his pictures, however beautiful in design and composition, 
are always cold and chalky. 

Autumn is the favourite season of study for landscape painters, 
when all nature verges towards decay, when the foliage changes 
its vivid green to brown and orange, and the lawns put on their 
russet hue. But the tints and verdant colouring of spring and 
summer will have superior charms to those who delight in the 
perfection of nature, without perhaps ever considering whether 
they are adapted to the painter's landscape. 

It is not from the colouring only, but the general compo- 
sition of landscapes, that the painter and landscape gardener 
will feel the difference in their respective arts; and although 
each may occasionally assist the other, yet I should no more 
advise the latter, in laying out the scenery of a place, to copy 
the confined field of vision, or affect the careless graces of Claude 
or Poussin, than I should recommend as a subject proper for a 
landscape painter the formal rows or quincunx position of trees 
in geometric gardening. It has been wittily observed, that " the 
works of nature are well executed, but in a bad taste;" this, I 
suppose, has arisen from the propensity of good taste, to display 


the works of nature to advantage; but it does not hence follow 
that art is to he the standard for nature's imitation; neither does 
it disgrace painting, to assert that nature may be rendered more 
pleasing than the finest picture; since the perfection of painting 
seldom aims at exact or individual representation of nature. A 
panorama gives a more natural idea of ships at sea, than the best 
picture of Vandervelde; but it has little merit as a painting, 
because it too nearly resembles the original, to please as an 
effort of imitative art. My sketches, if they were more highly 
finished, would be a sort of panorama, or J'ac simile, of the scenes 
they represent, in which little effect is attempted on the principle 
of composition in painting; but, like a profde shadow or sillouette, 
they may please as portraits, while they offend the connoisseur 
as paintings. The art I profess is of a higher nature than that of 
painting, and is thus very aptly described by a French author. 

" II est a la poesie et a la peinture ce que la realite est a la 
description et I'original a la copie." 

The house at Sufton Couut having been built long before 
I had the honour of being consulted, its aspects, situation, and 
general arrangement, do not properly come under my consi- 
deration. Yet as I shall suggest a hint for altering the windows 
in the drawing-room, I must consider the different landscapes 
in each direction. 

The views towards the south and west are extensive, and 
under certain circumstances of light and weather, often won- 
derfully beautiful ; but as distant prospects depend so much on 
the state of the atmosphere, I have frequently asserted, that the 
views from a house, and particularly those from the drawing- 
room, ought rather to consist of objects which evidently belong 


to the place. To express this idea, I have used the word Appro- 
pnation, by which 1 mean, such a portion of wood and lawn, 
as may be supposed to belong to the proprietor of the mansion, 
occupied by himself, not so much for the purposes of gain as of 
pleasure and convenience : this, of course, should be grass, 
whether fed by deer, by sheep, or by other cattle, and its 
subdivisions, if there be an}^ ought not to be permanent. I am 
ready to allow that this part of modern gardening has often been 
egregiously mistaken and absurdly practised; I find no error so 
difficult to counteract as the general propensity for extent,without 
sufficient attention to the size, style, or character of the house, 
or of the surroundino- estate. 

Extent and beauty have ever appeared to me distinct objects; 
and a small place, in which the boundary is not obtrusive, may 
be more interesting, and more consonant to elegance and con- 
venience, than a large tract of land, which has no other merit 
than that it consists of many hundred acres, or is encompassed 
by a pale of many miles in circuit, while, perhaps, within this 
area, half the land is ploughed in succession. 

The drawing-room at present looks towards the south, but 
there appear to be several reasons for altering its aspect; 1st. 
because the hall and dining-room command the same pros- 
pect, but more advantageously; 2d. because the windows being- 
near the hall door, a carriage road, which must occasionally 
be dirty, becomes a bad foreground; and lastly, the view to- 
wards the east Avill not only be different from the others, but 
is of such a nature as to appear wholly appropriate to the 
place, and, therefore, in strict harmony with the quiet home 
scene of a country residence : it consists of a beautiful lawn 


or valley, having its opposite bank richly clothed with wood, 
which requires very little assistance to give it an irregular and 
pleasing outline; and is one of the many subjects, more capable 
of delighting the eye in nature, than in a picture. The sketch 
shews with accuracy the situation of the several trees which 
ou"ht to be removed. 

It has been laid down by a recent author before named, as 
a general rule for improvement, to plant largely and cut down 
sparingly: this is the cautious advice of timidity and inexperience; 
for in some situations improvement may be effected by the axe 
rather than by the spade, of which this sketch furnishes an 
instance: the trees in a straight line at the bottom of the hill 
have in vain been encumbered by young trees, planted with 
a view of breaking their formal row; while in reality they pro- 
duce the contrary effect. I rather advise boldly taking away all 
the young trees and part of the old ones, but particularly an 
oak, which not only hides the forked stem of a tree behind, but 
from its situation depresses the other trees, and lessens the mag- 
nitude and importance both of the hill and of the grove, by 
which its brow is covered, " 

" The situation of Attingham is at variance with its cha- 
racter; since it is impossible to annex ideas of grandeur and 
magnificence to a mansion, with little apparent domain. The flat 
lawn between the high road and the house, although very extensive, 


yet, possessing no variety in the size of the trees, and but little 
in the shape of ground, the eye is deceived in its real distance. 

By the laws of perspective, the nearer any object is to the 
eye, the larger it will appear; also the larger any object is, the 
nearer it will appear to the eye: consequently the magnitude of 
the house makes it appear nearer than it really is, there being 
no intervening objects to divert the attention, or to act as a scale, 
and assist the eye in judging of the distance. For this reason, 
every stranger who sees this house from the turnpike road, 
would describe it as a large house with very little ground between 
it and the road. The first idea of improvement would be, either 
to remove the house or the road; but as neither of these expe- 
dients are practicable, we must have recourse to art to do away 
this false impression. This I shall consider as forming the basis 
of the alteration proposed at Attingham. 

In ancient gothic structures, where lofty walls and various 
courts intervened between the palace and the neighbouring 
village, there was sufficient dignitij or seclusion without that 
apparent extent of domain which a modern mansion requires ; 
but since the restraint of ancient grandeur has given place to 
modern elegance, which supposes greater ease and freedom, 
the situation of a house in the country is more or less defective 
in proportion as it is more or less bounded or incommoded by 
alien property. Thus a high road, a plowed field, a barn, or a 
cottage adjoining a large house, have a tendency to lessen its 
importance; and hence originates the idea of extending park, 
lawn, or pleasure grounds, in every direction from the house: 
hence also arises the disgust we feel at seeing the park pales, 
and grounds beyond, when they are so near or so conspicuous 


as to Impress the mind with an idea of not belonging to the 


Perhaps the love of iniity may contribute to the pleasure 
we feel in viewing a park where the boundary is well concealed. 
This desire of hiding the boundary introduced the modern 
practice of surrounding almost every park with a narrow plan- 
tation or belt; Avhich, if consisting of trees planted at the same 
time, becomes little better than a mere hedge row, and is 
deservedly rejected by every man of taste; yet there are many 
situations where a plantation becomes the natural boundary of a 
park : such is the skreen of Avood on the highest ground to the 
east of Attingham, where it forms a pleasing outline to the 
landscape, without exciting a wish to know whether it is the 
termination of the property. 

In consequence of the apparent want of extent in the park 
or lawn at Attingham, it was suggested to add many hundred 
acres of land to the east, by removing the hedges of the adjoining 
fields. This would have increased the real, without extending 
the apparent magnitude of the park: but I contend, that often- 
times it is the appearance, and not the reality of extent, which 
is necessary to satisfy the mind; for the size of the park has 
little reference to that of the estate of the proprietor. The land 
attached to a villa near a city may with propriety be surrounded 
by pales or a wall, for the sake of privacy and seclusion; but it 
is absurd to enclose more of a distant domain than is necessary 
for the beauty of the place: besides, if this ])ark or lawn had 
been extended a mile farther to the east, the confinement to the 
south, which is in the front of the house, would not have been 
done away, and consequently to the traveller passing the 


road the apparent extent would not have been increased; and 
without some striking or beautiful feature, extent alone is seldom 

If large trees, river scenery, or bokl inequality of ground, 
can be included, by enlarging a park, they are sufficient motives; 
but views of distant mountains, which may be seen as well from 
the high road, are not features that justify extensive lawn over 
a flat surface.' 

To do away the impression of confinement at Attingham, 
the park should be extended across the road, and thus the 
stranger will be induced to believe he passes through, and not 
at the extremity of the park. Secondly, some striking and inte- 
resting features should be brought into notice, such as the junc- 
tion of the Severn and the Terne, which may be actually effected 
within the limits of the park ; and particularly the great arch 
across the Terne, of which no adequate advantage is at present 
taken. There are also some large trees, and many interesting 
points of view, which well deserve attention in a plan professing 
to increase the number of beautiful circumstances, rather than 
the number of acres in the park. 

In opposition to Mr. Price's idea, that all improvement of 
scenery should be derived from the works of great painters, I 
shall observe, that there are at present, very near the house, 
some fragments of an old mill and brick arches, that make a 
charming study for a painter ; the composition is not unlike 
a beautiful picture of Ruisdale's, at Attingham, which every 

' One great error in Mr. Brown's followers has been the unnecessary extent of 
parks. It is my opinion, that, provided the boundary can be properly disa:uised, the 
largest parks need not exceed two or three hundred acres, else they are apt to become 
farms within a pale, or they are forests rather than parks. 


man of taste must admire: of this scene, as it now exists, I have 
endeavoured to give a faint idea. Among the trees is seen 
part of the colonade that joins the east wing to the body of the 
.house: from the general character of this scenery, we cannot but 
suppose this to be a fragment of some ruined Grecian temple, 
and no part of a modern inhabited palace. Hence it is evident 
that the mind cannot associate the ideas of elegance with neglect, 
or perfect repair and neatness with ruin and decay: such objects, 
therefore, however picturesque in themselves, are incongruous 
and misplaced, if near such a palace as Attingham. 

St-^.^.te.- a^ ^//^iii^^wW>»*< 


Another mistake of the admirers of painters' landscape is, 
the difference in the quantity of a natural and an artificial com- 
position: the finest pictures of Claude (and here again I may 
refer to a picture at Attingham) seldom consist of more than 
one-fifth of that field of vision which the eye can with ease 
behold without any motion of the head, viz. about 20 degrees 
out of 90; and we may farther add, that without moving: the 
body, our field of vision is extended to J 80 degrees. 

Now it is obvious that the picture of Claude already men- 
tioned, which is between four and five feet long, if it had been 
extended to 20 or 30 feet, would not have been so pleasing a 
composition; because, instead of a picture, it would have resem- 
bled a panorama. This I may further instance in the view from 
the breakfast room, consisting of a distant range of mountains, 
by far too long for any picture. Yet a small part of this view 
might furnish a subject for the painter, by supposing a tree to 
form the foreground of the landscape. Are we then to plant 
such a tree.^ or a succession of such trees, to divide the Avhole 
field of vision into separate landscapes.^ and would not such an 
attempt at improvement be like placing five or six pictures of 
Claude in one long frame? The absurdity of the idea proves the 
futility of making pictures our models for natural improve- 
ments: however I may respect the Avorks of the great masters 
in painting, and delight to look at nature with a painter's eye ; 
yet I shall never be induced to believe that " the best land- 
" scape painter would be the best landscape gardener."™ 

"" Since I began these remarks on Attingham, Mr. Price has published a second 
volume of Essays on the Picturesque, the whole of which is founded on his enthusiasm 
for pictures; and he very justly observes, (page 26"9), " Enthusiasm always leads to 


The river Terne being liable to floods from every heavy 
shower of rain which falls upon the neighbouring hills, has 
formed a number of different channels and islands: some of these 
channels are dry when the water is low, and some of the 
islands are covered when the water is high. These irriguous 
appearances have charms in the eye of a landscape painter, who, 
from some detached parts, might select a study for a foreground 
at a happy moment when the water is neither too high nor too 
low; but the landscape gardener has a different object to effect, 

the verge of ridicule, and seldom keeps totally within it." Thus not content with 
making the works of great painters the standard for laying out grounds, they are also 
to furnish plans and elevations for all our buildings, from the palace to the cottage: 
and since we cannot be quite reconciled to their being in a state of ruin, which would 
certainly be most picturesque, we must build them in such irregular forms that trees 
may be introduced in various hollows and recesses, to be left for this purpose: these 
will, indeed, very soon contribute to produce those weather stains, and harmonious 
tints, which are more grateful to the painter's eye than polished marble ; as the 
green rust on copper coins, is more interesting to the antiquarian, than the bright 
surface of gold or silver. Mr. Price confesses, that two small difficulties occur 
in patting these projects fully in practice, viz. that " he sees no examples of chim- 
neys, and very few of slanting roofs," but where fine pictures can be transferred 
from the canvass to the real residence of man. How void of taste must that man 
be, who could desire a chimney, or roof to his country-house, when we are told that 
Poussin, and Paul Veronese, built whole cities without a single chimney, and with only 
one or two slanting roofs ! This idea of deriving all our instruction from the works of 
great painters, is so ingenious and useful, that it ought not to be confined to gardening 
and building. In our markets, for instance, instead of that formal trim custom of 
displaying poultry, fish, and fruit, for sale on different stalls, why should we not rather 
copy the picturesque jumble of Schnyders and Rubens? Our kitchens may be fur- 
nished after the designs of Teniers and Ostade, our stables after Woovermans, and 
we may learn to dance from Watteau or Zuccarelli ; in short, there is no individual 
from the emperor to the cobbler, who may not find a model for his imitation in the 
works of painters, if he will but consult the whole series from Guido to Teniers. 


he must secure a constant and permanent display of water, which 
may be seen at a distance, and which shall add brilliancy and 
grandeur to the character of the scenery: it is not an occasionally 
meandering brook that such a palace or such a bridge requires, 
but it is an ample river majesticallj^ flowing through the park, 
and spreading cheerfulness on all around it. 

Mr. Price has written an Essay to describe the piactical 
manner of finishing the banks of artificial water: bat L confess, 
after reading it with much attention, I despair of making any 
practitioner comprehend his meaning; indeed, he confesses that 
no workman can be trusted to execute his plans. It is very true 
that large pieces of water may be made too trim and neat about 
the edges, and that often in Mr. Brown's works, the plantations 
are not brought near enough to the water; but if the banks 
are finished smoothly at first, the treading of cattle will soon 
give them all the irregularity they require: and with respect to 
plantations, we must always recollect, that no young trees can 
be planted without fences, and every fence near the water 
is doubled by reflexion ; consequently all rules for creating 
bushes to enrich the banks are nugatory, except where cattle 
are excluded. 

The difliculty of clothing the banks of artificial water has 
been a source of complaint made against Mr. Brown, for having 
left them bare and bald: but the river at Attingham will be 
sufliciently enriched by the few trees already growing on its 
margin, and by the plantations proposed, on the island, &c. 

There is a part of the river Terne above the house where 
both its banks are richly clothed with alders, and every person 
of discernment must admire the beauty of this scene; bat if the 


same were continued quite to the bridge, the river would be 
invisible from the house and from every part of the park: how 
then is it possible that the banks of water should every where 
be covered with wood? I contend that a broad ample channel, 
in proportion to the bridge, will be far more in character with 
the style of the house and the bridge, than the more intricate, 
which, on paper, is perhaps more picturesque. 

If it be ridiculous to imitate nature badly in a picture, how 
much more ridiculous will it appear to imitate a picture badly in 
nature ; an imitation which, after all, must be left for half a 
century to be finished by the slow process of " neglect and 

The water at Attingham having been completed, and a 
new channel made to connect the river Terne with the Severn, 
the improvement is obvious to every person who travels the 
great road to Shrewsbury: it is therefore needless to elucidate 
these observations by any views of the place, especially as paint- 
ing can give but an imperfect idea of the situation commanding 
that extensive range of hills which separates England from 



Of ancient and modern Gardening — Authors — Change of Style — 
WiMPOLE — Terraces — at the Hasells — at Cobham — Art 
and Nature considered — Example Burley on the Hill. 

It is not my intention to enter into a minute history of gardening, 
or pursuing the course of some other writers, to trace back 
the gradual progress of the art from Brown to Kent, from Kent 
to Le Notre, from him to the Itahans, the Romans, the Grecians, 
and ultimately to Adam, Avho was " the first gardener," but I 
shall confine myself to a few observations on the change in the 
fashion of gardens, to shew how much of each different style 
may be preserved or rejected with advantage: and lest it should 
appear to some readers that my allusions are too frequent to 
the late theoretical writers on landscape gardening, it is neces- 
sary to observe, that many of the MSS. Avhence I now transcribe, 
were written long before Mr. Knight's and Mr. Price's works 
appeared; of course the allusions relate to other authors on the 
subject, whose sentiments these gentlemen seem to have taken 
up without acknowledging that they had ever read them. 

It may not be uninteresting here to mention a few of the 
authors, who have written on gardening, especially as the works 
of some are become scarce and are not generally known. 



I scarcely need mention the late Horace Walpole, who, in 
his lively and ingenious manner, has given both the history and 
the rules of the art, better than any other theorist. 

The History of Gardening is very learnedly discussed, in a 
brief inquiry into the knowledge the ancients possessed of the 
art, by Dr. Faulkner) and the same subject is more lightly, but 
not less correctly or elegantly, treated by my late ingenious 
friend Daniel Malthus, Esq. in a preface to his translation of 
^^D' Ermenotiville de la Composition des paysages. "" 

" From this gentleman I received a letter in 1793, written in so playful a style, 
and so much connected with the subject of this volume, that I will venture to insert 
it, even though I should incur the imputation of vanity. 


I HAVE been lately very much pleased with a letter of yours to 

Mr. Price, which is so easy, friendly, and gentleman-like, that it defeats at once 

the pertness of your antagonists before you enter into the question ; at the same 

time, I think it is as perfect an answer as if it were more laboured, and that you 

have put your finger on the very pith and marrow of the question. Even in the little 

snatch of acquaintance we have had together, you may have perceived that I am 

rather too much inclined to the Price and Knight party, and yet I own to you that I 

have been often so much disgusted by the affected and technical language of connois- 

seurship, that I have been sick of pictures for a month, and almost of nature, when 

the same jargon was applied to her. I know the abilities of the two gentlemen, and 

am sorry they have made themselves such pupils of the Warburtonian school, as to 

appear more like Luther and Calvin, than a couple of west country gentlemen, talking 

of gravel walks and syringas. To be sure one would imagine they would have broiled 

poor Brown, but I hope not. I suppose you know Mr. Knight's place, his elegant 

house, and the enchanting valley which lies under it: no man wants to dot himself 

about with firs, who has such woods as those. He has done nothing to spoil it, and 

every thing that he could have done chastely to adorn it. He has three bridges that 

are admirable in their way. I was diverted with one of the reviewers, Avho took him 

for a poor Grub-Street poet, who had never seen any more gardening than the pot of 

mint at his windows." 


Every person the least interested in this study, must have 
read the beautiful " Poems of Mason," and " De Lille" the 
" Oriental Gardening oi Sir William Chambers" and the " Obser- 
vations on Modern Gardening by Mr. Whatelij" but, perhaps, 
few have seen that elaborate performance, in five volumes quarto, 
published in German, and also in French, under the title of 
" Theorie de I'Art des Jardins par M. Hirschfeld" a work in 
which are collected extracts from almost every book in every 
European language, that has any reference to the scenery of 
nature or to the art of landscape gardennig." 

When o-ardening was conducted by the geometric principles 
of the school of Le Notre, the perfection of planting was deemed 
to consist in straight lines of trees, or regular corresponding 
forms of plantation, and as the effect of this style of gardening 
greatly depended on a level surface of ground, we ofteu find that 
prodigious labour was employed to remove those inequalities 
which nature opposed to this ill-judging taste. 

At WiMPOLE the natural shape of the surface seemed to 
invite this fashion for geometric forms, the ground was co- 
vered in every direction with trees in straight lines, circles, 
squares, triangles, and in almost every mathematical figure. 
These had acquired the growth of a century, when the taste 

° If I were to enumerate all those mIio have occasionally mentioned gardening as 
a relative subject of taste, I should hardly omit the name of any author, either ancient 
or modern. Some of the most ingenious hints, and even some just principles in the 
art, are to be found in the works of Theocritus, Homer, Virgil, Petrarch, Rousseau, 
Voltaire, Temple, Bacon, Addison, Home, Gilpin, Allison, &c. 


of gardening changed; and as every absurd fashion is apt to 
run from one extreme to another, the world was then told, that 
*' nature abhorred a straight line," that perfection in gardening 
consisted in waving lines, and that it was necessary to obliterate 
every trace of artificial interference. And now many a lofty 
tree, the pride and glory of our ancient palaces, was rooted up, 
because it stood on the same line with its fellows and contempo- 
raries: and because these ranks of sturdy veterans could not,P like 
a regiment of soldiers, be marched into new shapes, according 
to the new system of tactics, they were unmercifully cut down; 
not to display beautiful scenery behind them, but merely to 
break their ranks : while a few were spared which could be 
formed into platoons, this was called clumping an avenue. 

The position of all the large trees on the plain near the house 
at Wimpole, shews the influence of fashion in these different 
styles; the original lines may be easily traced by the trees which 
remain, and the later formed clumps are scattered about bke the 
ghosts of former avenues, or monstrous shapes which could not 
be subdued. 

One great advantage of Wimpole arises from its comparative 
beauty, or the contrast between the place and its environs. 
The counties of Cambridge and Huntingdon consist generally 

'' That this simile may not appear ludicrous, I should observe, that the ancient 
gardens were often made with a reference to military dispositions; or trees were 
sometimes planted in conformity to the order of certain battles; thus at Blenheim, the 
square clumps planted before Brown saw the place, were in imitation of the famous 
battle from whence the place A\^as named. And in an old map of a place in Suffolk, 
which I believe was planned by Le N6tre, the names of regiments were given to 
square clumps or platoons of trees, which on paper resembled the positions of an 


of flat groiuid, while the hills are open corn fields thinly 
intersected by hedges. But Wimpole abounds in beautiful 
shapes of ground, and is richly clothed with wood; it is there- 
fore like a flower in the desert, beautiful in itself, but more 
beautiful by its situation. Yet no idea of this beauty can be 
formed from the approach to the house; because the plain is 
every where covered with lofty trees, which hide not only the 
inequalities of the ground, but also the depth of wood in every 
direction; and although the original straight lines of the trees have 
been partially broken, the intervals shew none of the varied 
scenery beyond. I do not therefore hesitate to say, that by 
judiciously removing some hundred trees the place would be 
made to appear more wooded: for it frequently happens, that 
a branch near the eye may hide a groupe of twenty trees, or a 
single tree conceal a whole grove. 

In thus recommending the liberal use of the axe I hope I 
shall not be deemed an advocate for that bare and bald system 
of gardening which has been so justly ridiculed. I do not 
profess to follow either Le Notre or Brown, but selecting beau- 
ties from the style of each, to adopt so much of the grandeur of 
the former as may accord with a palace, and so much of the 
grace of the latter as may call forth the charms of natural 
landscape. Each has its proper situation; and good taste will 
make fashion subservient to good sense. 

" The modern rage for natural landscape has frequently car- 
ried its admirers beyond the true limits of improvement, the 


first object of which ought to be convenience, and the next 
picturesque beauty. 

My taste may perhaps be arraigned for asserting that the 
straight terrace at the Hasells,'' ought not to be disturbed: 
although it is a remnant of geometric gardening of the last 
century, yet it is an object of such comfort and convenience, 
that it would be unpardonable to destroy it, for no other reason 
than because a straight walk is out of fashion, this would be 
acknowledging (what I protest against) that the art of landscape 
gardening ought to be under the dominion of fashion. 

If this terrace were constantly an object of view, or very 
materially offensive to the general scenery of the place, its linear 
direction might cut the composition, and destroy its effect as a 
natural landscape: in its present situation it is merely a fore- 
ground or frame to a pleasing picture, and the view from hence 
is so fine, so varied, and so interesting, that the spectator must 
be fastidious indeed, who could turn away disgusted because it 
is seen over a dipt hedge, or with a broad flat walk in its fore- 
ground. A beautiful scene will always be beautiful, whether 
we view it from an alcove, a window, or a formal terrace ; and 
the latter, in the height of summer, may sometimes answer the 
purpose of an additional room or gallery, when there is much 
company, who delight to saunter on such an esplanade ; while 
the intricacies of a winding path are better calculated for a 
solitary walk." 

" The ancient dignity of character in the house at Cobham 

** The Red Books of the Hasells and Cobham, from whence these observations 
were transcribed, were written in the year I790, before Mr. Price published his 


would be violated by the too near intrusion of that gai/ preffiness 
which generally accompanies a garden walk ; yet convenience 
and comfort require such a walk at no great distance from the 
house/ I shall perhaps astonish some of the improvers in 
modern serpentine gardening by declaring, that as an appendage 
to this ancient mansion, I would prefer the broad and stately 
mall along a straight line of terrace, to their too frequently 
repeated waving line of beauty. 

This sort of walk may, I think, be still farther encouraged, 
where it already in some degree exists, to the north of the kitchen 
garden, which falling from the eye, might easily be concealed 
from the park by a shrubbery kept low; not to intercept the 
view towards the opposite bank in the park, while it would 
give an imaginary increase of depth to the vale beneath. And 
to remove the objection of returning by the same walk, a second 
terrace might be carried still higher on the bank, and by the 
style and accompaniment of its plantation, all sameness would 
easily be obviated, perhaps by making one of them a xvmter 
walk, planted chiefly with evergreens and shrubs. 

To justify my opinion, it is necessary to guard against a 
misconstruction of what I have advanced, lest I may be accused 
of reviving the old taste of gardening. 

I do not recommend the terrace as an object of beauty m all 
cases, but of convenience; for the same reason that I advi!>e the 

' Twelve years ago, when I first delivered these opinions, they were deemed so 
contrary to modern practice, that I was cautious in defending them. I have snice 
more boldly supported my original opinion, and rejoice that the good sense of the 
country admits their propriety. 


proximity of a kitchen garden, provided the principal apartments 
do not look upon either. 

Om- ancestors were so apt to be guided by utility, that they 
at length imagined it was in all cases a substitute for beauty; 
and thus we frequently see ancient houses surroujided not only 
by terraces, avenues, and fish ponds, but even the stables, and 
the meanest offices, formed a part of the view from the windows 
of their principal rooms. I am far from recommending a return 
to these absurdities ; yet in the rage for picturesque beauty let 
us remember that the landscape holds an inferior rank to the 
historical picture ; one represents nature, the other relates to 
man in a state of society; if we banish winter comforts from 
the country seats of our nobility, we shall also banish their 
inhabitants, who generally reside there more in winter than in 
summer, and there is surely no object of greater comfort and 
utility belonging to a garden, and a country mansion, than a 
dry spacious walk for winter, sheltered by such trees as preserve 
their clothing while all other plants are destitute of foliage. 

" Vernantesque comas tristis ademit hyems." ' 

' " In the summer season the whole country blooms, and is a kind of garden, for 
which reason we are not so sensible of those beauties, that at this time may be every 
where met with ; but when nature is in her desolation, and presents us with nothing 
but bleak and barren prospects, there is something unspeakably cheerful in a spot of 
ground which is covered with trees, that smile amidst all the rigours of winter, and 
give us a view of the most gay season in the midst of that which is the most dead and 
melancholy." Spectator, No. 477. 

And the great Lord Bacon says, 

" In the royal ordering of gardens there ought to be gardens for every month in 
the year." 

I '29 

I will add the opinion of a very able commentator, who, 
mentioning- " this self-evident proposition, that a rural scene in 
" reality, and a rural scene on canvass, are not precisely one and 
" the same thing*. But," he says, " that point in which they differ 
" here, is not itself without a guiding principle: utility sets up 
" her claim, and declares, that however concurrent the genuine 
*' beauty of nature and picture may be, the garden scene is hers, 
" and must be rendered conformable to the purposes of human 
*' life; if to these every consonant charm of painting be added, 
" she is pleased, but by no means satisfied, if that which is con- 
" vertible to use be given absolutely to wildness." Elements 
OF Criticis3i. 

The natural situation of Bukley differs from that of every 
other large place which has fallen under my consideration. To 
say that the house stands on a lofty hill, would be giving a 
very imperfect idea of its situation, on the contrary, it ought 
rather to be described as a magnificent palace, built at the 
extremity of a vast plain, or what is called by geographers a 
Table Mountain, from the brow of which it boldly commands an 
assemblage of wood, water, lawn, and distant country, spread 
magnificently at its base. 

The view from the principal suite of apartments, however 
rich and varied in itself, becomes much more interesting by the 
power of contrast, because the great plain to the north affords 
no promise of such views, and therefore the surprise occasioned 


l)y this unexpected scenery, is a subject worthy the attention 
of the improver: the effects of surprise are seldom to be pro- 
duced by Art, and those who attempt to excite it by novelty or 
contrast, are in danger of falling into puerile conceits.* But where, 
as in the present instance, much of the natural sublime exists, 
this effect should be increased by every means, which does not 
betray the insignificance of art, when compared with the works 
of nature. 

For this reason, if the approach were brought along the 
straight line of avenue, gradually ascending, the situation of 
BuRLEY would lose much of its sublimity by anticipation. 

The prevalence of fashion, in all subjects of taste, will at 
times have its influence, but as fashion is more the effect of 
whim and caprice, than of reason and argument, it has been my 
great object to rescue landscape gardening from its fascinating- 
power; and while accommodating myself to the wishes of those 
who consult me, to the customs of the times, or to the pecu- 
liarity of various situations and characters: I hope never to lose 
sight of the great and essential object of my profession, the 
elegance, the magnificence, and the convenience of rural scenes, 
appropriated to the uses of a " gentleman s habitation. 

This may be ecpially effected, whether we revert to the 
formal fashion of straight walled gardening, or adopt the serpen- 

' Like those described by Sir William Chambers in his Chinese Gardening. 

" By this term I mean to express scenery, less rude and neglected, than the forest 
haunts of wild animals, and less artificial than the farmer's field, laid out for gain, 
and not for appearance: or in the words of a celebrated author, to " create a scenery 
more pure, more harmonious, and more expressive, than any that is to be found in 
nature itself 


tine lines of modern improvers, under the pretended notion ot 
imitating nature. But there is a certain dignity of style in 
BuRLEY, which, like the cumbrous robes of our nobility, neither 
can nor ouaht to be sacrificed to the innovation of fashion or 
the affectation of ease and simplicity. 

Mr. Burke justly observes, that " A true artist should put a 
" generous deceit on the spectators, and effect the noblest designs 
" by easy methods. Designs that are vast, only by their dimen- 
" sions, are always the sign of a common and low imagination. 
" No work of art can be great but as it deceives; to be otherwise 
*^ is the prerogative of nature only." This precept seems to have 
been overlooked in the attempts to modernize Burley : the 
spacious court, surrounded by Ji colonade, has been frecpiently 
quoted as a wonderful effort of art: and when the distant country 
was excluded by a wall, by the village, and by trees beyond 
it, this ample area was undoubtedly one of the most striking- 
appendages of a palace.^ But the moment one side of the qua- 
drangle is opened to the adjacent country, it shrinks from the com- 
parison, and the long fronts of opposite offices seem extended 
into the vast expanse, without any line of connexion. This 
comparative insignificancy of art is no where more strongly 
exemplified than in the large wet docks of Liverpool and Hull : 
while the margins of the river are left dry by the ebbing tides, 
we look with astonishment at the capacious basons, filled with a 
vast body of water; but when the tide flows to the same level, 

'' Lest this should look like an implied censure on tlie person by whose advice the 
wall was removed, I must acknowledge that till I had seen the effect, I might have 
adopted the same error, in compliance with the prevailing fashion of opening lawns. 


and the flood-gates are thrown open, the extent and importance 
of the river convert these artificial basons into creeks or mere 
pools. It is therefore onlj/^ by avoiding a comparison with the 
works of nature, that we can produce the effect of greatness in 
artificial objects; and a large court, surrounded by buildings, 
can have no pretensions to be deemed a natural object. 

After removing the wall, which formed the front of the court, 
a doubt arose whether the present gate and porter's lodge should 
or should not remain, and how to approach the house to the 
greatest advantage. 

There is a certain poiut "^ of distance from whence every 
object appears at its greatest magnitude : but in cases where 
symmetry prevails, the distance may be rather greater, because 
exact correspondence of parts assists the mind in forming an 
idea of the whole. I should therefore conceive that the effect 
of surprise, of magnificence, and of the sublime, in this effort of 
art, is greatly injured by seeing the interior of this ample court, 
before we arrive at the entrance gate; because that is nearly the 
spot where the eye is completely filled and gratified by the 
surrounding objects. But as this view should not be momentary, 
I suppose the road to continue from the gate in a straight line, 
till it falls into a circle with the colonade; and here the broad 
road may be intercepted with posts and chains, to direct car- 
riages into that course which displays the whole area to the 
greatest advantage, passing nearer to the side colonade; shewing 
that in perspective, and presenting the house at the angle to shew 
Its depth. The manner in which this is effected by sweeping 

' This subject has been discussed in Chapter II. 


round the court, is not to be described by painting; because 
every step varies the position of the several parts as they advance 
or recede perspectively. 

Hitherto I have spoken of the north or entrance front and 
court-yard of Burley, the whole of which I would treat only 
as a work of art, and, if possible, exclude all view of the country. 
But to the south the prospect, or natural landscape, is the leading 
feature for our consideration. 

The steep descent from the house has been cut into a number 
of terraces, each supported by a red brick wall; and if these 
several walls had been of stone, or architecturally finished like 
the old costly hanging gardens of France and Italy, they might 
perhaps have added more magnificence to the house, than any 
improvement which modern gardening could suggest, but they 
are mean in their forms, diminutive in their height, and out 
of harmony in their colour. Yet the style of the house and 
the steepness of the declivity will not admit of their being- 
all taken away to slope the ground in the manner too often 
practised by modern improvers. 

I therefore make a compromise between ancient and mo- 
dern gardening, between art and nature, and by increasing the 
height, or rather the depth, from the upper terrace to the lower 
level of the ground, I make that the line of demarkation between 
the dressed ground and the park, in the manner explained by 
the view of Burley; and happy would it be for the magnifi- 
cence of English scenery, if many such stately terraces near a 
palace, had been thus preserved. 


round the court, is not to be described by painting; because 
every step varies the position of the several parts as they advance 
or recede perspectively. 

Hitherto I have spoken of the north or entrance front and 
court-yard of Bur ley, the whole of which I would treat only 
as a work of art, and, if possible, exckide all view of the country. 
But to the south the prospect, or natural landscape, is the leading 
feature for our consideration. 

The steep descent from the house has been cut into a number 
of terraces, each supported by a red brick wall; and if these 
several walls had been of stone, or architecturally finished like 
the old costly hanging gardens of France and Italy, they might 
perhaps have added more magnificence to the house, than any 
improvement which modern gardening could suggest, but they 
are mean in their forms, diminutive in their height, and out 
of harmony in their colour. Yet the style of the house and 
the steepness of the declivity will not admit of their being 
all taken away to slope the ground in the manner too often 
practised by modern improvers. 

I therefore make a compromise between ancient and mo- 
dern gardening, between art and nature, and by increasing the 
height, or rather the depth, from the upper terrace to the lower 
level of the ground, I make that the line of demarkation between 
the dressed ground and the park, in the manner explained by 
the view of Burley; and happy would it be for the magnifi- 
cence of English scenery, if many such stately terraces near a 
palace, had been thus preserved. 



Miscellaneous — Endless Varietij of Situation and Character — First 
Impressions — Roads — E.vample Stoke Park — Scenenj in 
Wales — Example Rug — Ornaments — Entrances — Hare- 
wood — Blaize Castle — Adaptation of ornamental Build- 
ings — Ornaments — Decojations — Colours — Metals. 

I HAVE occasionally been asked, when visiting a beautiful spot, 
" which of all the places I had seen was the most beautiful ?" 
It is impossible to define those circumstances which on different 
persons make different impressions at first sight ; perfection is 
no more to be found in the works of nature than in those of art. 
Such is the equal providence of the great Author of nature, that 
every place has its beauties and its deformities, and whether 
situated among the mountains of Wales, or on the margin of 
Clapham Common, it will not onhj be endeared to its proprietor, 
but to the discerning stranger, by some peculiar features of 

The materials of natural landscape are ground, wood, and 
water, to which man adds buildings, and adapts them to the 
scene. It is therefore from the artificial considerations of utility, 
convenience, and propriety, that a place derives its real value 
in the eyes of a man of taste : he will discover graces and de- 
fects in every situation ; he will be as much delighted with a 


bed of flowers as with a forest thicket, and he will be as much 
disgusted by the fanciful affectation of rude nature in tame 
scenery, as by the trimness of spruce art in that which is wild: 
the thatched hovel in a flower-garden, or the frcillis hocau^e in 
a forest, are equally misplaced. 

General principles, or general designs, which may be ar)pli- 
cable to all situations, would be alike impossible. The painter 
copies in their respective places, the eyes, the nose, and mouth, 
of the individual, but without adding character his picturewill not 
be interesting. The landscape gardener finds ground, wood, and 
water, but with little more power than the painter, of changing 
their relative position; he adds character by the point of view in 
w hich he displays them, or by the ornaments of art with which 
they are embellished. To describe by Avords the various cha- 
racters and situations of all the places in which I have been 
consulted, would be tedious, and to give views of each would 
alter the design of this work : I shall therefore dedicate this 
chapter to a miscellaneous assemblage of extracts from different 
Hed Books, without aiming at connection or arrangement. These 
may furnish examples of variety in the treatment of various 
subjects; while the reasons on which their treatment is founded 
will, I hope, be deemed so far conclusive, that some general 
principles may be drawn from them, tending to prove that, 
There are Rules Jor good taste. 


There is no principle of the art so necessary to be studied as 
the effects produced on the mind by the first view of certain 
objects, or rather that general disposition of the human mind, 
by which it is capable of strongly receiving first impressions. 
We frequently decide on the character of places, as well as of 
persons, with no other knowledge of either, than what is acquired 
by the first glance of their most striking features; and it is with 
difficulty, or with surprise, that the mind is afterwards constrained 
to adopt a contrary opinion. 

Thus if the approach to a house be over a flat plain, we shall 
pronounce the situation to be flat also, although the ground 
immediately near the house be varied- and uneven; whilst, on 
the contrary, if the road winds its course over gentle hills and 
dales, and at length ascends a steep bank to the house, we shall 
always consider it as standing on an eminence, although the 
views from the house may be perfectly flat. 

I have therefore watched with nice attention the first ideas 
which have occurred to me in visiting any new subject ; and if 
a more intimate knowledge of it induces me afterwards to alter 
my opinion, I then inquire into the causes which influenced my 
former false judgment, that I may by this means increase or 
diminish them accordingly.^ 

" The situation of the Hasells, of Burley, and of Stoneaston, on tlie extremity 
of table land, may serve as examples. 


One of the first objects of improvement should he to adapt 
the character of the grounds to that of the house; and both 
should bear some proportion to the extent of property by which 
they are surrounded. 

" At Stoke, in Herefordshire, the house and park are as 
perfectly separated from each other by a turnpike road as if 
they were the property of different persons; and both are seen 
from that road in the most unfavourable points of view. Of the 
house little is visible except the roof and chimnies, and with 
respect to the park, which naturally abounds with the most 
pleasing shapes of ground, richly clothed with wood^ the road 
passes so immediately at the foot of the declivity, that the whole 
appears fore-shortened, and all its beauties are entirely lost. To 
divert the course of this road, therefore, becomes the first object 
of improvement."^ 

I have, on several occasions, ventured to condemn as false 
taste, that fatal rage for destroying villages, or depopulating a 
country, under the idea of its being necessary to the importance 
of a mansion : from the same Red Book the following extract is 

'* As a number of labourers constitutes one of the requisites of 

" This has been done, and the improvement to the place is equally felt [)y the 
proprietor, and conspicuous to every stranger who travels from Ledbury to Hereford. 
It seldom happens that both the public and the individualare benefited by altering 
the course of a high road, but their mutual advantage ought to be studied. It often 
happens that the basis of all improvement depends on removing a public road, of 
which examples occurred in the following places; Abington Hall, Adlestrop, 
Bayham, Kenwood, Panshanger, Garnons, Hasells: these I mention in pre- 
ference to many others, because the improvement is obvious to the public. 



grandeur, comfortable habitations for its poor dependants ought 
to be provided. It is no more necessary that these habitations 
shoukl be seen immediately near the palace, than that their inha- 
bitants should dine at the same table; butif their humble dwellings 
can be made a subordinate part of the general scenery, they will, 
so far from disgracing it, add to the dignity that wealth can derive 
from the exercise of benevolence. Under such impressions, and 
with such sentiments, I am peculiarly happy in being called upon 
to mark a spot for new cottages, instead of those which it is 
necessary to remove, not absolutely because they are too near 
the house, for that is hardly the case with those cottages in the 
dell, but because the turnpike road being removed, there will 
be no access for the inhabitants but through a part of the park, 
which cannot then be private. I must advise, however, that 
some one or more of the houses in this dell be left, and inhabited 
either as a keeper's house, a dairy, or a menagerie, that the 
occasional smoke from the chimnies may animate the scene. 
The picturesque and pleasing effect of smoke ascending, when 
relieved by a dark hanging wood in the deep recess of a beautiful 
glen like this, is a circumstance by no means to be neglected." 

As an example of a place in a mountainous country, the 
following extract from the Red Book of Rug, in North Wales, 
is subjoined. " At a period when the ancient family honours of 
a neighbouring country are rooted out with savage barbarity, I 


rejoice in an opportunity of contributing my assistance to pre- 
serve in this, every vestige of ancient or hereditary dignity; and 
I shoukl feel it a kind of sacrilege in taste, to destroy an atom 
of that old, ruinous, and almost uninhabitable mansion at Rug, 
if it were to be replaced by one of those gaudy scarlet houses, 
which we see spring up bke mushrooms, in the neighbourhood 
of large manufacturing towns. I am, however, restrained from 
indulging to its full extent my veneration for antiquity, by 
reflecting that modern comfort and convenience are the first 
objects to be consulted in the improvement of a modern resi- 
dence; and therefore I trust I shall neither incur the censure of 
those who know and feel the comforts of the age we bve in, nor 
oftend the genius of the place, by " calling from the vasty deep 
*' the angry spirits" of Owen Glendwr of Burgontum, who for- 
merly inhabited this domain. 

" In a country like that of North Wales, abounding in mag- 
nificent scenery, the views from the house should rather aim at 
comfort and appropriation of landscape, than extensive prospect; 
because the latter may be had from every field or public road 
on the mountains; and the attempt to make a large park or 
domain would be fruitless, where a lawn of a thousand acres 
would appear but a small spot; compared with the wide expanse 
of country seen from the neighbouring hills. I should therefore 
advise the lawn to be confined within the compass of forty or 
fifty acres; yet from the variety of its surface, and the diversity 
of objects it contains, there will be more real beauty, and even 
mao-nificence, within this small inclosure, than in other parks of 
many hundred acres. 


However partial we may be to grand and extensive prospects, 
they are never advisable for the situation of a house, in which con- 
venience and comfort should doubtless take the lead of every 
other consideration. The frequent rains and violent storms of 
wind, to which all mountainous countries are exposed, have taught 
the inhabitants not only to choose warm valleys for their houses, 
but have also introduced a style of architecture peculiarly suited 
to those situations: the small towns of Llangollen and Corwen, 
as well as those in the mountains of Switzerland, have all low 
sheds or pent-houses, under which the inhabitants may take 
shelter from occasional driving storms. The arcade of gothic 
architecture is infinitely more applicable to such situations than 
the lofty portico of Greece, which is rather calculated for those 
warm regions where man wants protection from the vertical 
beams of a burning sun. I hope, therefore, that both the cha- 
racter and situation of Rug, will justify a " design for a new 
house, which may possess a degree of grandeur and magnifi- 
cence not incompatible with modern convenience." 

' This Red Book having been written in 1793, it was before I had the advantage of my 
son's architectural assistance; and the design here mentioned was that of my ingenious 
friend Mr. Wilkins, who built one of the best houses in England for Earl Moira, at 
DoNNiNGTON, in a correct gothic style, and under whom my son was at that time 
studying : for reasons, which I had no right to inquire into, the plan for the house 
was not adopted; in every other respect, however, my plans have there been followed 
in the most gratifying manner. 


There is no circumstance in which bad taste is so conspicuous 
as in the misuse of ornaments and decorations ; an observation 
equally applicable to all the polite arts, and not less true with 
respect to eloquence, poetry, music, and painting, than to archi- 
tecture and gardening. 

Thus, for instance, a rural scene may be delightful without 
any building or work of art, yet, if judiciously embellished by 
artificial objects in character with the scene, the landscape will 
be more perfect; on the contrary, if incumbered by buildings 
in a bad taste, or crowded by such as are too large, too small, 
or in any respect inapplicable, however correct they may be as 
works of art, the scene will be injured, and thus a thatched hovel 
may be deemed an ornament, where a Corinthian temple would 
be misplaced, or vice versa. 

In this miscellaneous chapter may properly be inserted some 
specimens of various buildings to elucidate the truth of an obser- 
vation, which hardly seems to require enforcing; yet the frequent 
introduction of ornamental buildings, copied from books, without 
reference to the character and situation of the scenery, is not 
less fatal to the good taste of the country; than it would be to 
the life of individuals to use medical prescriptions without 
inquiring into the nature and cause of diseases. 

The facility with which a country carpenter can erect small 
buildings intended for ornament, may perhaps account for their 
frequency; but I am not ashamed to confess that I have often 
experienced more difficulty in determining the form and size of a 
hovel, or a park entrance, than in arranging the several apart- 
ments of a large mansion; indeed there is no subject on which I 


have so seldom satisfied my own judgment, as in that of an 
entrance to a park. 

The custom of placing a gate between two square boxes, or, 
as it is called, a " pair of lodges," has always appeared to me 
absurd, because it is an attempt to give consequence to that 
which in itself is mean; the habitation of a single labourer, or 
perhaps of a solitary old woman, to open the gate, is split into 
two houses for the sake of childish symmetry;'* and very often 
the most squalid misery is found in the person thus banished 
from society, who inhabits a dirty room of a few feet square. 

It is the gate, and not the dwelling of the person who 
opens it, that ought to partake of the character of the house, 
where architectural display is necessary ; and this principle 
seems to point out the true mode of marking the entrance 
to a place. Instead of depopulating villages, and destroying 
hamlets in the neighbourhood of a palace, I should rather wish 
to mark the importance of the mansion, and the wealth of its 
domain, by the appearance of proper provision for its poor 
dependants ; the frequent instances I have witnessed where 
the industrious labourer had many miles to walk from his 
daily task, have strongly inforced the necessity, not to say the 
humanity, of providing comfortable and convenient residences 
for those who may have employment about the grounds. It is 
thus that the real importance of a place might be distinguished 
by the number of its cottages, or rather substantial houses. 

As this absurd fashion of a pair of lodges deserves to be treated with ridicule, I 
cannot help mentioning the witty comment of a celebrated lady, who, because they 
looked like tea-caddies, m rote on two such lodges in large letters, Green and Bohea. 


appropriated to the residence of those belonging to the place ; 
this woukl truly enrich the scenery of a country by creating a 
village at the entrance of every park ; it is not by their number 
only, but by the attention to the neatness, comfort, and simple 
ornament of such buildings, that we should then judge of the 
style of the neighbouring palace; and whether the houses were 
of clay and thatched, or embellished with the ornaments of 
architecture, there would be equal opportunity for the display 
of good taste. 

The entrance to Harewood Park, from a large town of the 
same name, may serve as a magnificent specimen of this kind of 
importance; and although in this instance the character and 
peculiar circumstances of this splendid palace are properly sup- 
ported by the regularity and substantial manner in which the 
town is built and ornamented; yet in more humble situations, 
the same attention to the repair and neatness of the adjoining 
cottages, would confer adequate propriety to this mode of 
entrance. Various specimens of this attention may be seen in 
the roads near the following places: Babworth, Betchworth, 


wooD, Stoke Park, Suttons, Scarisbric, Tenuring, &c. 


iwm !^'.'"'' mm\ 



If the entrance to a park be made from a town or village, 
the gate may with great propriety be distinguished by an arch, 
as in that of Harewood, where the approach from Weatherby, 
after passing along a straight road intended to be planted on 
each side, is terminated by a town regularly built of the most 
beautiful stone, at the end of which an arched gateway forms 
the entrance to one of the finest palaces in England. 

" _A.w/?<7./?'V /V? JSieu^ce^ Ca^*€^ 

In determining the sort of entrance proper for Blaize 
Castle, the name of the place caused some difficulty; the house 
to which the castle belongs, neither does nor ought to partake 
of any Gothic character, yet there appeared some incongruity in 
making the entrance in the Grecian style of architecture, to 
accord with the house, which is no where seen from the road, 
while the castle is a conspicuous feature, and gives a name to 
the place; I therefore recommended the above design as a proper 
object to attract notice in the approach, which is one of the most 
interesting and romantic.^ 

° After passing through a wood, the road arrives at a cottage on the side of a hill, 
from whence the house appears across a deep wooded glen, which was deemed impas- 
sable. However by cutting away the face of the rock in some places, and building 
lofty walls in others to support the road, and by taking advantage of the natural 


JCn/>,a^£^ to £ia^:^ Ca->cU 

In determining the sort of entrance proper for Blaize 
Castle, the name of the place caused some difficulty; the house 
to which the castle belongs, neither does nor ought to partake 
of anv Gothic character, yet there appeared some incongruity in 
making the entrance in the Grecian style of architecture, to 
accord with the house, which is no where seen from the road, 
while the castle is a conspicuous feature, and gives a name to 
the place; I therefore recommended the above design as a proper 
object to attract notice in the approach, which is one of the most 
interesting and romantic' 

' After passing through a wood, the road arrives at a cottage on the side of a hill, 
from whence the house appears across a deep wooded glen, which was deemed n.pas- 
sable. However by cutting away the face of the rock in some places, and 
lofty walls in others to support the road, and by taking advantage of the natural 



An arched gateway at the entrance of a place is never used 
with so much apparent propriety as when it forms a part of a 
town or village, at least it should be so flanked by lofty walls 
as to mark the separation between the public and the park, and 
increase the contrast; but when seen in contact with a low park- 
pale, or even an iron pallisade, it appears to want connexion, it 
looks too ostentatious for its utility, and I doubt whether it would 
not lessen the pleasure we derive from viewing the magnificent 
Grecian arches at Burlington House and at Blenheim, if the 
side walls were lower/ 

In recommending the use of an arch I must guard against 
being misunderstood, by mentioning several circumstances which 
I deem objectionable. 1st. The arch should not be a mere aper- 
ture in a single wall, but it should have depth in proportion to 
its breadth. 

2d. It should have some visible and marked connexion either 
with a wall, or with the town to which it belongs, and not 
appear insulated. 

3d. It should not be placed in so low a situation that we 
may rather see over it than through it. 

4th. Its architecture should correspond with that of the house, 
in style if not in order, that is, the Grecian and Gothic should 
be kept separate, although the design may not be copied from 

projections and recesses to make the necessary curvatures, carriages now pass this 
tremendous chasm with perfect ease and safety. 

Where man resides nature must be conquered by art : it is only the ostentation 
of her triumph, and not her victory, that ought to offend the eye of taste. 

' This remark is less applicable to a Gothic entrance, because if it is correct, it 
may be supposed a fragment of some more extensive building; but a Grecian arch, in 
this country, must be modern, and cannot properly be a ruin, except by design. 




the house; and lastly, neither the house should be visible from 
the entrance, nor the entrance from the house, if there be suffi- 
cient distance between them to make the approach through a 
park, and not immediately into a court yard; the two last general 
rules are equally applicable to every sort of entrance, as well as 
that through an arch ; yet there are certain situations where the 
latter cannot be avoided; of this an instance occurred in Stoke 
Park, Herefordshire, where the gate and the cottage near it 
were disguised by the portico, represented in the following 
sketch; which forms a pavilion, or covered seat, adjoining to the 
walk in the shrubbery. 

In various situations, various expedients have been adopted; 
thus at Antony I recommended, near the gate, a cottage, over 
which is a room to command the fine view of the harbour, &c. 
At St. John's, in the Isle of Wight, two cottages, covered with 
flowering creepers, attract the notice of all who visit the island; 
and while one is a comfortable residence for a family, the other 
consists of a room near the road side, from whence the mind 
derives peculiar satisfaction in seeing the constant succession 
of visitors who leave their homes in search of happiness. In 
some places the cottage is more conspicuous by dividing the 
road to the house from the public road, as at Milton; but in 
most cases I have endeavoured to conceal the cottage when it 
is quite solitary among the trees, only shewing the gate of 

Concerning gates, it may not be improper to mention my 
opinion, with reasons for it. 



1st. As an entrance near a town, I prefer close wooden gates, 
for the sake of privacy, except where the view is only into a 
wood, and not into the open lawn. 

2d. The gates should be of iron, or close boards, if hanging 
to piers of stone or brick work; otherwise an open or common 
field gate of wood appears mean, or as if only a temporary 

3d. If the gates are of iron, the posts or piers ought to be 
conspicuous, because an iron gate hanging to an iron pier of 
the same colour, is almost invisible; and the principal entrance 
to a park should be so marked that no one may mistake it. 

4th. If the entrance gate be wood, it should for the same 
reason be painted white, and its form should rather tend to shew 
its construction, than aim at fanciful ornament of Chinese, or 
Gothic,^ for reasons to be explained, in speaking of decorations. 

* That I may not appear too severe in my comments upon those fanciful forms 
called Gothic, I am not ashamed to acknowledge that when I first retired into the 
country, I began the improvements to my own residence in Norfolk, by putting a 
sharp pointed window in a cottage seen from my house ; and in my former Av^ork, a 
design was inserted for a wooden gate, which I then deemed applicable to the Gothic 
character, before I became better acquainted with subjects of antiquity. 

It is not sufficien^ that a building should be in just propor- 
tions with itself, it should bear some relative proportion to the 
objects near it. The example here given is the Doric portico 
at Stoke Park, in Herefordshire, where the size of the budd- 
iuo^ was regulated by a large oak and a young plantation near 
it: had this building been more lofty, it would have overpowered 
the young trees, by which it is surrounded, and a smaller budd- 
ino- would have appeared diminutive so near to the neighbourmg 
large oak; I therefore judged, that the best rule for the dnnen- 
sions of the columns was rather less than the diameter of the 
oak, and this of course determined the whole proportion of the 
Doric portico. 


So prevalent is the taste for what is called Gothic, in the 
neighbourhood of great cities, that we see buildings of every 
description, from the villa to the pigstye, with little pointed 
arches, or battlements, to look like Gothic ; and a Gothic dairy 
is now become as common an appendage to a place, as were 
formerly the hermitage, the grotto, or the Chinese pavilion. 
Why the dairy should be Gothic, when the house is not so, I 
cannot understand, unless it arises from that great source of 
bad taste, to introduce what is called a pretty thing, without 
any reference to its character, situation, or uses. Even in old 
Gothic cottages, we never see the sharp pointed arch, but often 
the flat arch of Henry VIII, and perhaps there is no form more 
picturesque for a cottage than buildings of that date, especially 
as their lofty perforated chimneys not only contribute to the 
beauty of the outline, but tend to remedy the curse of the poor 
man's fire-side, a smoky house. 

There are few situations in which any building, whether of 
rude materials or highly finished architecture, can be properly 
introduced without some trees near it. Yet the summit of a 
naked brow, commanding views in every direction, may require 
a covered seat or pavilion ; for such a situation, where an archi- 
tectural building is proper, a circular temple with a dome, such 
as the temple of the Sybils, or that of Tivoli, is best calculated; 
but in rude scenery, as on a knoll or promontory in a forest, 
the same idea may be preserved in a thatched hovel supported 
by rude trunks of trees ; yet as the beauty of such an object 
will greatly depend on the vegetation, it should be planted with 
ivy, or vines, and other creeping plants should be encouraged 
to spread their foliage over the thatch. 

Cottage at Bjlai^e Castile. 

The principal view from the house at Blaize Castle, is 
along that rich glen of wood through which the approach has 
been made as already described: in this view the castle, al- 
though perfectly in harmony with the solemn dignity of the 
surrounding woods, increases rather than relieves that apparent 
solitude which is too sombre for the character of a villa,'' 

'' Some object was wanting to enliven the scenery; a temple, or a pavilion, in this 
situation, would have reflected light, and formed a contrast with the dark woods; but 
such a building would not have appeared to be inhabited, this cottage therefore de- 
rives its chief beauty from that which cannot easily be expressed by painting ; the 
ideas of motion, animation, and inhabitancy, contrasted with those of stillness and 
solitude. Its form is meant to be humble, without meanness; it is; and appears the 
habitation of a labourer who has the care of the neighbouring M'oods; its simplicity is 
the effect of art, not of neglect or accident; it seems to belong to the mansion, and 
to the more conspicuous tower, without affecting to imitate the character of either. 


Cottage at Blaise castiliEo 

The principal view from the house at Blaize Castle, is 
along that rich glen of wood through which the approach has 
been made as already described: in this view the castle, al- 
though perfectly in harmony with the solemn dignity of the 
surrounding woods, increases rather than relieves that apparent 
solitude which is too sombre for the character of a villa.^ 

" Some object was wanting to enliven the scenery; a temple, or a pavilion, in this 
situation, would have reflected light, and formed a contrast Avith the dark woods; but 
such a building would not have appeared to be inhabited, this cottage therefore de- 
rives its chief beauty from that which cannot easily be expressed by painting; the 
ideas of motion, animation, and inhabitancy, contrasted with those of stillness and 
solitude. Its form is meant to be humble, without meanness; it is; and appears the 
habitation of a labourer who has the care of the neighbouring woods; its simplicity is 
the effect of art, not of neglect or accident; it seems to belong to the mansion, and 
to the more conspicuous tower, without affecting to imitate the character of either. 


The propensity for imitation, especially where no great 
trouble or expence is incurred, has made treillage ornaments so 
common, that some observations concerning them may be 
expected in this work, especially as I believe I may have con- 
tributed originally to their introduction;' but I little thought 
how far this flimsy ornament might be misapplied. 

The treillages of Versailles and Fontainbleau were of substan- 
tial carpentry, preserving architectural proportions, in which 
plants were confined and clipped to form a sort of vegetable and 

' To conceal a house near the entrance of a flower-garden at Taplow, I covered 
the whole with treillage many years ago. 


architectural berceau, or cabinet de verdure; these being made of 
strong wood and painted, were more costly and more durable; 
and as they only formed a frame for the plants, they might 
perish, without injuring the forms of these leafy buildings; but 
the English treillage is made of such slight materials, and so 
slightly put together, that they can hardly outlive the season 
for which they are erected; this, however, is no objection where 
they are used in flower-gardens, or where they are merely to be 
considered as garden sticks supporting plants, but when added 
to architectural houses, and made the supporters of a heavy roof, 
or even a canvass awning, it looks as if the taste of the country 
were verging to its decline ; since shade might be obtained by 
the same awning supported by iron, if architectural forms and 
projections are to be despised "^ or discarded. 

I should therefore suppose that no treillage ought to be 
introduced, except in situations where creeping plants may be 
fastened to the framing, which should be stout in proportion to 
its height, or its intentions : it is a common mistake to suppose 
a thing will look light by being slender; if it be not equal to 
its office by its apparent substance, it will look weak not light; 
but the lattice work is supposed to support nothing, and may 
therefore be of any dimensions, and being always painted, it 
will be invisible at a distance. 

■' This observation is the result of having lately seen some houses containing rooms 
of admirable proportion, and well connected together, but which externally appear 
to be built of lath, and paper or canvass ; perhaps the late frequency of living in 
camps, or at watering-places, may have introduced this unsubstantial mode of building, 
which looks as if it were only intended for the present generation, or rather for the 
present year. 


Architccfuml Ornaments and Decomiions. 

I could wish, in speaking of architecture, if the use of lan- 
guage Avould admit of such distinction, to make a difference 
between the words Ornament and Decoration. The former 
should include every enrichment bearing the semblance ofutUitij; 
the latter is supposed to have no relation whatever to the uses 
or construction of the building; thus for instance, a house may 
answer all the purposes of habitation without a column, a pdaster, 
an entablature, a pediment, a dome, an arcade, or a balustrade, 
which I call the external ornaments of Grecian architecture. 

I include under the word Decorations— ^l^tx^e^, vases, basso- 
relievos, sculpture, &c. which have no use, but as additional 
enrichments to the ornaments of architecture; on the contrary, 

> That these ornaments, although not absolutely necessary, should appear to be 
useful is evident from the disgust we feel at seeing them improperly apphed; as m a 
otm'n, without an entablature, or an arch supporting nothing, or a pecLn^e^U w. ou 
a roof; but I do not consider columns, or pilasters, as ornaments, when us d, as we 
often :ee them, to the doors of houses; they may then more prope.y be ca ed a 
rations in a bad taste. A column is the most sumptuous ornament of Grecian aich 

Tare, and should never be subordinate to any other part of the ed.fice ; ,t shou d 
either belong to the entablature and cornice of the buildmg, or ,t should be wholly 

'"^ iTtte door requires a projecting covering, it is far better to support it by console, 
or cautlivres or even small cast iron pillars, without arch.tectural pretensions, han 
by tl Zinutive columns which bear no proportion to the buildings agamst which 

n:[::br!:!on, however, does not include those porticos to churches or public 
buildings, which form a colonnade on so extended a scale, that they become m a manne 
d a cheV and principal; of this kind are the magnificent and useful colonnade at 
S oTk Pooies, and that added by the same architect to the garden front of Frogmore. 

where these decorations are applied to plain buildings without 
ornaments, they are marks of bad taste.™ 

The ornaments of architecture must be correct in design, 
since no dejrree of costliness in their materials or their work- 
manship, can compensate for any defect in proportion, order, 
or disposition. The eye of good taste will be equally offended 
with columns too large or too small, too near or too far apart; 
in short, with every deviation from the established rules of the 
respective orders, whether such column be composed of marble, 
of stone, or of plastered brickwork ; the costliness of the mate- 
rial makes no difference in the design ; but this is not the case 
with decorations. The cheapness and facility with which good 
designs may be multiplied \n papier mache, or putty composition, 
have encouraged bad taste in the lavish profusion of tawdry 

This consideration leads me to assert, that every species of 
enrichment or decoration ought to be costly, either in its mate- 
rials or in its workmanship: and if we attend to the common 
opinion of all, except children and savages, we shall find that 
no real value is attached to any decoration, except upon this 
principle; on the contrary, it becomes contemptible in propor- 
tion as it affects to seem what it is not J" 

" Instances of this often occur in the neighbourhood of large cities and towns, 
where the taste of a carpenter, and not of an architect, puts balustrades to houses 
without any entablatures, or perhaps places them in a garret window, M'hile the plain 
parapet wall is loaded with Mercuries, vases, pine-apples, eagles, acorns, and round balls. 

" If a lady of high rank were to decorate her person with gauze and gilt paper, 
with glass beads, and the feathers of common English birds, instead of muslins and 
gold lace, diamonds, and the feathers of an ostrich, or a bird of paradise; although 
she might be equally brilliant, and even dispose her dress with grace and fancied 
taste, we should pronounce it irompcrie, as affecting to seem what it is not. 


The idea of costliness in ornament is increased by its rarity, 
or rather by its being used only where it is most conspicuous, 
and this sort of oeconomy is observable even in the works of 
nature ; for instance, the most beautiful coloured feathers of 
birds are on the surface, while those for use, rather than for 
shew, are generally of a dirty brown; it may also be observed, 
that ihose butterflies, or moths, whose wings are ornamented 
on the under side, generally bear them erect; while those which 
have the upper side most beautiful generally spread them flat. 
The same remark may be extended to all the vegetable tribe, 
every flower, and every leaf, has one side more ornamented, 
more glossy, more vivid, or more highly finished than the other, 
and this is always the side presented to the eye. Hence we are 
taught by the example of nature, not to lavish decorations where 
they cannot generally be seen." 

While treating on the subject of ornaments and decorations, 
I must not omit to mention colours; since improper colourmg 
may destroy the intended eff-ect of the most correct design, and 
render ridiculous what would otherwise be beautiful.^ 

= Good taste can only be acquired by leisure and observation ; it is not therefore 
to be expected in men whose time is fully employed in the more important acqmre- 
„.ent of wealth or fame; while on certain subjects of taste the most elegant women 
often excel the most learned men; and although they may not have mvest.gated the 
causes of the pleasure, they either derive or communicate, yet they are more exqui- 
sitely sensible to both. This, if it were necessary, might be used as an apology for 
occaLnally introducing allusions more familiar than the philosophic reader may deem 

conformable to the nature of a didactic work. r- ., n • . i 

. I cannot help ..entioning, .l,a,. from .he obstinacy and bad .a,.e of the Bn.tol 
n,asou who executed the design, page 145, I was mortified to find that Go.h.c en- 
trance built of a dark blue stone, with dressings of white Bath stone ; and m another 



Both the form and the colour of a small house in Langley 
Park rendered it an object unworthy of its situation; yet, from 
peculiar circumstances, it was not deemed advisable, either to 
remove it, or to hide it by plantations. I therefore recommended 
a Doric portico to cover the front; and thus a building formerly 
unsightly, because out of character with the park, became its 
brightest ornament, doing honour to the taste and feelings of 
the noble proprietor, who preserved the house for having been 
a favourite retreat of his mother, and which, thus ornamented, 
may be considered as a temple sacred to filial piety. 

In the following instances there is something more than har- 
mony of colours, there is an association from habit, which causes 
part of our pleasure or disgust. 

A compact red house displeases from the meanness of its 
materials, because we suppose it to be of common red bricks, 
although it may perhaps be of the red stone of Herefordshire. 

On the contrary, a large pile of red buildings is not so dis- 
pleasing; witness the houses of Cobham, Glemham, &c. and 
the royal palaces of St. James's, Hampton Court, Kensington, 
&c.; but perhaps the weather stains of time may have contributed 
more than the quantity to reconcile us to the colour of these 
large masses. 

Lime-whited houses offend the eye, partly from the violent 
glare, and partly from the associated meanness of a lath and 

place, the intention of the design, page l.-iO, M^as totally destroyed, by painting all 
the wood work of this cottage of a bright pea green. Such, alas! is the mortifying 
difference betwixt the design of the artist, and the execution of the artificer. 


plaster building; but if a little black and yellow be mixed with 
the lime, the resemblance to the colour of stone satisfies the eye 
almost as much as if it were built of the most costly materials, 
witness Woodley, Babworth, Taplow, &c. 

To produce effect by difference of colour in buildings, such 
as red and yellow bricks, black and white flints, or even edging 
brick-work with dressings of stone, is the poor expedient of the 
mere bricklayer; the same may be observed of that paltry taste 
for pointing the joints of brick-work to render them more conspi- 
cuous, and of course more offensive. 

As a general principle I should assert, that no external effect 
of light or shade on a building ought to be attempted, except 
by such projections or recesses, as will naturally produce them, 
since every effect produced by colour is a trick, or sham expe- 
dient; and on the same principle a recess in the wall is preferable 
to a painted window, unless it is actually glazed. 

With respect to the colour of sashes and window frames, I 
think they may be thus determined with propriety, first observing 
that, from the inside of the room, the landscape looks better 
through bars of a dark colour; but on the outside, in small cot- 
tages, they may be green, because it is a degree of ornament 
not incompatible with the circumstances of the persons supposed 
to inhabit them, and even in such small houses as may be 
deemed cottages, the same colour may be proper; but in pro* 
portion as it approaches to a mansion, it should not derive its 
decoration from so insignificant an expedient as colour, and 
therefore to a gentleman's house the outside of the sashes should 
be white, whether they be of mahogany, of oak, or of deal, 
because externally the glass is fastened by a substance which 


must be painted, and the modern sash-frames are so light, that 
imless we see the bars, the houses appear at a distance unfinished, 
and as having no windows. In palaces or houses of the highest 
description, the sash-frames should be gilt, as at Holkham, 
Wentworth, &c. The effect of gold in such situations can hardly 
be imagined by those who have never observed it; and even at 
Thouesby, where the house is of red brick, the gilding of the 
sashes has wonderfully improved its importance. 

There is a circumstance with respect to gold and gilding of 
which few are aware who have not studied the subject. The 
colour of gold, like its material, seems to remove all difficulties, 
and makes every thing pleasing; this is evident on viewing a 
finely coloured picture on a crimson hanging, with or without 
a gold frame ; two discordant colours may be rendered more 
harmonious by the intervention of gilding, it is never tawdry or 
glaring, the yellow light catches on a very small part of its 
surface, while the brown shadows melt into the adjoining colours, 
and form a quiet tint, never offensive: gold ornament may be 
applied to every colour, and every shade, and is equally bril- 
liant, whether in contact with black or white. 

All ornaments of gold should be more plain and simple than 
those of silver; not only because the costbness of the material 
renders the costliness of workmanship less necessary, but because 
the carved or enriched parts reflect very little light or brilliancy, 
compared with those that are plain. 

On the contrary, in silver ornaments, if the surface be too 
plain, we annex the ideas of tin or pewter, and it is only by 
the richness or the embossing, that its intrinsic value becomes 


These remarks are applicable to gold and silver plate,'' as 
well as to every species of ornament in which those metals can 
be used. 

Since the improvement in the manufactory of cast iron has 
brought that material into more frequent use, it may not be 
improper to mention something concerning the colour it ought 
to be painted. Its natural colour, after it is exposed to wet, is 
that of rusty iron, and the colour of rust indicates decay; when 
painted of a slate colour it resembles lead, which is an inferior 
metal to iron; and if white or green, it resembles wood : but if 
we wish it to resemble metal, and not appear of an inferior kind, 
a powdering of copper or gold dust on a green ground makes a 
bronze, and perhaps it is the best colour for all ornamental rails 
of iron. In a cast-iron bridge at Whitton, the effect of this 
bronze colour, mixed with gilding,' is admirable ; and for the 
hand-rails of staircases it is peculiarly appropriate. 

'' Lest it should be objected that I am going beyond the precise boundaries of my 
profession, either as a Landscape Gardener or as an Architect, I shall observe that the 
professor of taste in those arts must necessarily have a competent knowledge of every 
art in which taste may be exercised. I have frequently given designs for furniture to 
the upholsterer, for monuments to the statuary, and to the goldsmith I gave a design 
for one of the most sumptuous presents of gold plate, which was ever executed in this 
country : it consisted of a bason in the form of a broad flat vase, and pedestal, round 
which were the figures of Faith, Hope, and Charity; the former spreading her hand 
over the water, as in the act of benediction; and the two latter supporting the vase, 
which resembled a baptismal font: the whole was executed in gold, and was the pre- 
sent of a noble duke to his son on the birth of his first child. 

' Those who have seen the gilded domes of Constantinople, mention them with 
admiration; and from the observations I have made on the elFect of external irildino- 
in large masses, I have often considered gilding the dome of St. Paul's as a subject 
worthy of this nation's wealth and glory. This idea will, I doubt not, excite ridicule 
from those who have never observed or studied the wonderful, the pleasing, the 
unexpected, and harmonious effect of gilding on smooth surfaces. 


With respect to wooden fences or rails, it is hardly necessary 
to say, that the less they are seen the better; and therefore a 
dark, or as it is called, an invisible green, for those intended to 
be concealed, is the proper colour; perhaps there can hardly 
be produced a more striking example of the truth " that what- 
ever is cheap, is improper for decorations^' than the garish osten- 
tation of white paint, with which, for a few shillings, a whole 
country may be disfigured, by milk white gates, posts, and rails. 



Architecture and Gardening inseparable — Some Inquiry into the 
Forms and Arrangements of different Mras — Situation and 
Arrangement of Michel Okoy^— Singular Character of the 
House— Change in Customs and Manners alters Uses of Rooms 
—An extended Plan — Example Garnons — ^ contracted 
Plan — Exatnple Brentry Hill, Sfc. 

It has been objected to my predecessor Mr. Brown, that he 
fancied himself an architect. The many good houses built under 
his direction, prove him to have been no mean proficient in an 
art, the practice of which he found, from experience, to be 
inseparable from landscape gardening: he had not early studied 
those necessary, but inferior branches of architecture, better 
known perhaps to the practical carpenter than to Palladio him- 
self: yet from his access to the principal palaces of this country, 
and his intercourse with men of genius and science, added to his 
natural quickness of perception, and his habitual correctness of 
observation, he became acquainted with the higher requisites of 
the art, relating to form, to proportion, to character, and, above 
all, to airangement.^ 

' Mr Brown-s fame as an architect seems to have been eclipsed by his celebrity as 
a landscape gardener, he being the only professor of one art, while he had many 
jealous competitors in the other. But when I consider the number of excellent works 


These branches of architecture are attainable without much 
early practice, as we have seen exemplified in the designs of 

in architecture designed and executed by him, it becomes an act of justice to his 
memory to record, that if he was superior to all in what related to his own peculiar 
profession, he was inferior to none in what related to the comfort, convenience, 
taste, and propriety of design in the several mansions and other buildings, which he 
planned. Having occasionally visited and admired many of them, I was induced to 
make some inquiries concerning his works as an architect, and with the permission of 
Mr. Holland, to whom at his decease he left his drawings, I insert the following list: 

For the Earl of Coventry. Croome, house, offices, lodges, church, &c. 1751. 

The same. Spring Hill, a new place. 

Earl of Donegal. Fisherwick, house, offices, and bridge. 

Earl of Exeter. Burleigh, addition to the house, new offices, &c. 

Ralph Allen, Esq near Bath, additional buildings, 1765. 

Lord Viscount Palmerston. Broadland, considerable additions. 

Lord Craven. Benham, a new house. 

Robert Drummond, Esq. Cadlands, a new house, offices, farm buildings, &c. 

Earl of Bute. Christ Church, a bathing-place. 

Paul Methuen, Esq. Corsham, the picture gallery, &c. 

Marquis of Stafford. Trentham Hall, considerable alterations. 

Earl of Newbury. House, offices, &c. 1762. 

Rowland Holt, Esq. Redgrave, large new house, 1765. 

Lord VVilloughby de Broke. Compton, a new chapel. 

Marquis of Bute. Cardiff Castle, large additions. 

Earl Harcourt. Nuneham, alterations and new offices. 

Lord Clive. Clermont, a large new house. 

Earl of Warwick. Warwick Castle, added to the entrance. 

Lord Cobham. Stowe, several of the buildings in the garden. 

Lord Clifford, Ugbrooke, a new house. 

To this list Mr. Holland added : " I cannot be indifferent to the fame and character 
" of so great a genius, and am only afraid lest in giving the annexed account I should 
" not do him justice. No man that I ever met with understood so well what was 
" necessary for the habitation of all ranks and degrees of society; no one disposed his 
" offices so well, set his buildings on such good levels, designed such good rooms, or 
" so Avell provided for the approach, for the drainage, and for the comfort and con- 


certain noblemen, who, like Lord Burlington, had given their 
attention to this study. A knowledge of arrangement or dispo- 
sition is, of all others, the most useful : and this must extend to 
external appendages as well as to internal accommodation. 

This knowledge cannot be accpiired without observing and 
comparing various houses under various circumstances ; not 
occasionally only, but the architect must be in the habit of 
living much in the country, and with the persons for whom he 
is to build ; by which alone he can know their various wants 
with respect to comfort as well as to appearance, otherwise he 
will, like an ordinary builder, be satisfied in shewing his skill 
by compressing the whole of his house and offices under one 

" veniences of every part of a place he was concerned in. This he did without ever 
" having had one single difference or dispute with any of his employers. He left them 
" pleased, and they remained so as long as he lived ; and when he died his friend, 
" Lord Coventry, for whom he had done so much, raised a monument at Croome to 
" his memory." 

Such is the testimony of one of the most eminent and experienced architects of 
the present time ; and in a letter to me from the Earl of Coventry, written at Spring 
Hill, his Lordship thus mentions Mr. Brown: 

" I certainly held him very high as an artist, and esteemed him as a most sincere 
" friend. In spite of detraction his works will ever speak for him. I write from a 
" house which he built for me, which, without any pretension to architecture, is 
" perhaps a model for every internal and domestic convenience. I may be partial to 
" my place at Croome, which was entirely his creation, and I believe originally as 
" hopeless a spot as any in the island." 

I will conclude this tribute to the memory of my predecessor, by transcribing the 
last stanza of his epitaph, written by Mr. Mason, and which records with more truth 
than most epitaphs, the private character of this truly great man. 

But know that more than Genius slumbers here, 
Virtues were his which Art's best powers transcend ; 
Come ye superior train, who these revere. 
And weep the Christian, Husband, Father, Friend. 



compact roof; without considering aspect, views, approaches, 
gardens, or even the shape of the ground, on which the house is 
to be built. 

It is impossible to fix or describe the situation applicable to 
a house, without at the same time describing the sort of house 
applicable to the situation. 

This is so evident that it scarcely requires to be pointed out, 
yet I have often witnessed the absurdity of designs for a house 
where the builder had never seen the situation; I have there- 
fore long been compelled to make architecture a branch of my 
own profession.* 

Having occasionally observed the various modes by which 
large houses and their appendages have been connected at 
various periods, it may not be uninteresting if I attempt to 
describe them by reference to the annexed plate." 

No. 1. The earliest form of houses, or rather of palaces, in 
the country, prior to the reign of Elizabeth, consisted of apart- 
ments built round a large square court. These were formerly 
either castles or abbeys, and often received all their light from 
the inner courts; but when afterwards converted into habitations, 

' Before I had the advantage of my eldest son's assistance in this department, I 
met with continual difficulties. I will mention one instance only which occurred to 
me some years ago. Having been consulted respecting the situation for a villa to be 
built near the metropolis, I fixed the precise spot, and marked the four corners of the 
house with stakes upon the ground, proposing that the best rooms should command 
the best views and most suitable aspects; but not having any consultation vith the 
architect, I was afterwards surprised to find my position of the four corners of the 
house strictly observed ; but to accommodate the site to his previously settled plan 
on paper, the chimneys were placed where I had supposed the windows should be to 
command the finest views, and the windows, alas! looked into a stable court. 

" By an error on the plate, No. 2. should be No. 3. 








l.onJ.^n Hittish'd .fime ./, ,Bo2. by .ITifvltyr. Utah H,<ll;'rn 


windows were opened on the outside of the building. The views 
from a window were of little consequence at a time when glass 
was hardly transparent, and in many of the ancient castles the 
small lozenge panes were glazed with coloured glass, or painted 
with the armorial bearings, which admitted light without any 
prospect. Perhaps there is no form better calculated for conve- 
nience of habitation, than a house consisting of one or more of 
these courts, provided the dimensions are such as to admit free 
circulation of air, because in such a house the apartments are 
all easily connected with each other, and may have a passage of 
communication for servants from every part. Of this kind are 
the old palaces at Hampton Court and St. James's, of Penshurst 
and Knowle, in Kent, Warwick Castle, and various other ancient 

No. 2. Houses of the next form I consider as of later date, 
although from the various subsequent alterations it is difficult to 
define their original shapes: they seem to have had one side of 
the quadrangle opened, and thus the line of communication 
being cut off, this sort of house becomes less commodious in 
proportion to the length of its projecting sides. Of this descrip- 
tion were Cobham Hall and Cashiobury, to both which have 
been judiciously added square courts of offices, under the direc- 
tion of Mr. James Wyatt. 

No. S. is a form introduced in the reign of James I, with 
the quadrangle so small, that it is often damp and dark ; of this 
kind are Crewe, Hill Hall, Gayhurst, and Culford ; 
although the latter has been modernised and changed to the 
form No. 7. Houses of this shape may sometimes be greatly 
improved by covering the inner court entirely, and converting 


it into a hall of communication ; this I advised at Sarsden, a 
house of later date. The offices are generally attached to the 
side of these houses. In mansions of the foregoing three descrip- 
tions, a mixture of Grecian with Gothic is often observed, par- 
ticularly in those repaired by Inigo Jones. 

No. 4, the form next in succession, was of the date of 
William III, and George I, and has been commonly called an H 
or half H. This kind of house is often rendered very inconve- 
nient by the centre being one great hall, which breaks the con- 
nexion of apartments above stairs. It is also further objectionable, 
because it is a mere single house in the centre, and must have 
offices attached on one side: of this description are Stoke Park, 
Langleys, Glemham Hall, Dullingham, and Conuover. 

No. 5. When the Italian or Grecian architecture became more 
general, a greater display of fas9ade was introduced than the 
body of the house required; the offices and appendages were 
therefore made in wings to extend the design, as at Wentworth 
House, Wimpole, Attingham, Dyrham Park, and numerous 

A house on this plan, if it commands only one view, may be 
less objectionable; but when applied to situations where the 
windows are to look in opposite directions, it becomes very 
inconvenient, because the offices want that uninterrupted com- 
munication which is absolutely necessary to the comfort of a 
dwelling. After the views from the windows became an object of 
consideration, it was not deemed sufficient to preserve the views 
to the north and to the south, but even the views to the east 
and to the west were attempted to be preserved, and this intro- 
duced the plan No. 6. 


No. 6. has wings not in the same line with the house, but 
receding from it, which of coarse destroy the symmetry proposed 
by wings, unless the whole be viewed from one particular point 
in the centre; of this form are Merley, Newton Park, Nor- 
MANTON, Lathom House, &c. The houses built by Paine and 
Leadbeter are frecpient instances of want of comfort in the two 
latter forms. 

No. 7- is a form so generally adopted in modern houses that 
I will not mention any particular instances, especially as they are 
the works of living architects; yet I hope I shall be pardoned in 
also making some observations on their construction. 

This last invented form consists in a compact square house 
with three fronts, and to the back are attached offices, forming 
a very long range of buildings, courts, walls, &c. supposed to be 
hid by plantation. These "" I have been often recpiired to hide 
by planting, while, in fact, during the lives of the architect and 
the proprietor, the buildings can never be concealed, and in the 
lives of their successors the trees must be cut down to give a 
free circulation of air to the buildings. 

Notwithstanding the danger of giving offence when I am 
obliged to speak of the works of living artists, I shall venture to 
point out some objections to the compact form No. 7, as applied 
to a large mansion, which have not an ecpuil weight when applied 
to a villa or a house near a city, where land is valued by the foot 
and not by the acre; for however ingenious it may be in such 

" Such is the horror of seeing any building belonging to the offices, that, in one 
instance, I was desired by the architect to plant a wood of trees on the earth which 
had been laid over the copper roofs of the kitchen offices, and which extended 300 
feet in length from tlie house. 


places to compress a large house within a small compass, or to 
cover iintler the same roof a great number of rooms ; yet a 
mansion in a park does not require such management, or war- 
rant such oeconomy of space. 

Of all the forms which can be adopted, there is none so insig- 
nificant as a cube ; because, however large it may be, the eye 
can never be struck with its length, its depth, or its height, 
these being all equal ; and the same quantity of building which 
is often sunk under ground, raised in the air, or concealed in 
plantation, might have been extended to appear four times as 
large, with less expence and more internal convenience. 

A house in the country is so different from a house in town 
that I never could see any good reason for disposing the living 
rooms above stairs: it may perhaps be said, that the views are 
more perfect from the higher level ; but the same degree of 
elevation may be obtained by building the cellars above ground, 
and afterwards raising the earth over them, as I advised at 
DoNNiNGTON and Blaize Castle; and surely the inconvenience 
of an external staircase can scarcely be compensated by any 
improvement of the views. To counteract this error in modern 
houses, I have in some instances, raised the earth to the prin- 
cipal floor; and in others, where the architecture would not 
allow this expedient, I have advised a gallery to be added, as 
at HooTON and Higham Hill. 


Few subjects having occurred in which I have so fully dis- 
cussed the proper situation for a house, and all its appendages, 
as that of Michel Grove,^ I shall subjoin the following extract 

from that Red Book. 

" There is no circumstance connected with my profession, in 
which I find more error of judgment, than in selecting the 
situation for a house, yet it is a subject every one fancies easy 
to determine. Not only visitors and men of taste fall into this 
error, but the carpenter, the land-steward, or the nurseryman, 
feels himself equally competent to pronounce on this subject. 
No sooner has he discovered a spot commanding an extensive 
prospect, than he immediately pronounces that spot the true 
situation for a house; as if the only use of a mansion, like that 
of a prospect-tower, was to look out of the windows.^ 

After long experiencing the many inconveniencies to which 

^ The plate of Michel Grove House had heen engraved uhen the death of its 
late possessor put a stop for the present, to these extensive plans of improvement, 
which from his perfect approbation and decisive rapidity, would probably by this 
time have been completed. Whatever disappointment I may feel from this melancholy 
interruption in my most favourite plan, I must still more keenly regret the loss of a 

valuable friend, and a man of true taste ; for he had more celerity of conception, 

more metliod in decision, and more punctuality and liberality m execution, than 

any person I ever knew. 

^ The want of comfort, inseparable from a house in an exposed situation, even in 

the climate of Italy, is well illustrated by Catullus. 

" Furi ! villula nostra, non ad Austri 

" Flatus opposita est, nee ad Favoni, 

" Nee sffivi Bores, aut Apeliotae; 

" Verum ad millia quindecim et ducentos. 

" Oh ventum horribilem ! atque pestilentem !" 

Catullus, Ode 24. 


lofty situations are exposed : after frequently witnessing the 
repentance and vexation of those who have hastily made choice 
of such situations, under the flattering- circumstances of a clear 
atmosphere and brilliant sky; after ol)serving how willingly they 
would exchange prospect for shade and shelter, and after vainly 
looking forward to the effect of future groves, I am convinced 
that it is better to decide the situation of a house when the 
weather is unfavourable to distant prospects, and when the judg- 
ment may be able to give its due weight to every circumstance 
which ought to be considered in so material an object: that the 
comforts of habitation may not be sacrificed to the fascinating- 
glare of a summer's day. 

From these considerations I do not hesitate to assert, that if 
no house existed at Michel Grove, the sheltered situation of 
the present magnificent and singular mansion is greatly to be 
preferred to any spot that could be found on the hill, every part 
of which is more or less exposed to the force of the winds from 
the south west. I shall therefore inquire into the character of 
the present house, and consider how far the old mansion may 
be rendered convenient and adapted to modern comforts. 

There are few old mansions in England which have not been 
either castles or monasteries altered into houses, but there is no 
trace of this house ever having been either; and indeed its situa- 
tion in a dry valley is unlike that of any abbey, and it is so 
immediately commanded by the surrounding hills, that it never 
could have been a castle or place of defence. 

The proposed addition of a drawing-room, an anti-room, and 
an eating-room of large dimensions, will alter those relative pro- 
portions, now so pleasing. It is not therefore with a view of 

improving, but with that of doing- as little injury as possible to 
its appearance, that I venture to suggest the additions in the 
annexed sketch; because the terrace w^ill tend to preserve the 
apparent height, which the additions to the east tend to destroy/ 

The present style of living in the country is so different from 
that of former times, that there are few houses of ancient date 
which would be habitable without great alterations and additions. 
Such indeed is the constant fluctuation in the habits and customs 
of mankind, and so great the change in the luxuries, the comforts, 
and even the wants of a more refined people, that it is in these 
times impossible to live in the baronial castle, the secularized 
abbey, or even in the more modern palaces, built in the reign 
of Queen Elizabeth, preserving all the apartments to their ori- 
ginal uses. 

The chief rooms formerly required in a house of that date 

The Hall, for the entertainment of friends and vassals ; a large 
and lofty room, having the floor at one end raised above the 
common level, as at present in the halls of our colleges; this 
was to mark some distinction in the different ranks of the guests. 

The next large room required was a Gallery, for the reception 
of company in a morning, for dancing in the evening, and for 
the exercise of the family within doors. Very few books were 
then in use; and instead of the newspapers and pamphlets of the 
present day, the general information was collected in conver- 

^ This house is said to have been built by a Knight of Malta in the Reign of 
Henry VIII, in imitation of a Morisco palace which he had seen in Spain ; if this be 
true, it accounts for the singular style of architecture. 

2 A 


satlons held in those long galleries, which had large recesses or 
bays,'' sometimes called bowre windows, and now bow windows; 
into which some of the company would occasionally withdraw 
for conversation of a more private nature, as we frequently read 
in the Memoires de Sully, &c. 

But the apartment of all others, which was deemed indis- 
pensable in former times, and in which the magnificence of the 
proprietor was greatly displayed, was the Chapel. 

The other apartments were one or more small parlours, for 
the use of the ladies and their female attendants, in which they 
carried on their various works of embroidery, &c. and instead of 
the present dressing-room, and sitting-rooms, which are added 
to each modern bed-room, there was generally 

A small closet to each, with perhaps an oriel window for 
private morning devotions. 

After thus mentioning the uses of ancient apartments, it is 
necessary to enumerate those additions which modern life 
requires. 1st. The Eating-room, which does not exactly corre- 
spond with the ancient hall, because it is no longer the fashion 
to dine in public. 2d. The Library, into which the gallery may 
sometimes be changed with propriety. 3d. The Drawing-room^ 

^ " If tliis law hold in Vienna ten years, I'll rent the fairest house in it after three- 
" pence a bay," 

Measure for Measure, Act II. Sc. I, 

' The fashion of building in our author's time, was to have two or three juttings out 
in front, which we still see in old houses, where the windows were placed, and these 
" projections were called bays, as the windows were from thence called bay windows." 

Theobald, ibid. 

These projections answer to the Exhedra of the Greeks and Romans. 






or saloon. 4tli. The Music-room. 5th. The Billiard-room. 6th. 
The Conservatory attached to the house; and lastly, the Boudoirs, 
wardrobes, hot and cold baths, &c. which are all modern appen- 
dages unknown in Queen EHzabeth's days. Under these circum- 
stances, it is difficult to preserve the ancient style of a mansion 
without considerable additions. For this reason we see few 
specimens of Gothic buildings which have not been mixed and 
corrupted with the architecture of various dates; and whilst 
every casual observer may be struck with the incongruity of 
mixing the Grecian with the Gothic styles, yet the nice anti- 
quarian alone discovers by the contour of a moulding, or the 
shape of a battlement, that mixture of the castle and abbev 
Gothic, which is equally incorrect with respect to their different 
dates and purposes. 

The annexed view of this house will, I hope, justify my 
anxiety to preserve it as far as may be consistent Avith modern 
habitation: for although it can neither be deemed a castle, an 
abbey, or a house of any Gothic character with which we 
are acquainted, yet its form is singularly picturesque, and the 
slide shews the effect of removing the present road, walls, and 
stables, which would obstruct the view from the new apartments. 

In determining the situation for a large house in the country, 
there are other circumstances to be considered besides the 
offices and appendages immediately contiguous. These have so 
often occurred, that I have established in imagination certain 
positions for each, which I have never found so capable of being 
realized as at Michel Grove. 


I would place the liouse with its principal front towards the 
s«outli or south-east. 

I would build the offices behind the house, but as they occupy 
nuich more space, they will of course spread wider than the 

I would place the stables near the offices. 

I would place the kitchen garden near the stables. 

I would put the home farm buildings at rather a greater dis- 
tance from the house ; but these several objects should be so 
connected by back roads as to be easily accessible. 

I would bring the park to the very front of the house. 

I woukl keep the farm, or land in tillage, whether for use or 
for experiment, behind the house. 

I would make the dressed pleasure ground to the right and 
left of the house, in plantations, which would skreen the un- 
sightly appendages, and form the natural division between the 
park and the farm, with walks communicating to the garden and 
the farm. 

It will be found that these are exactly the positions of all the 
appendages at Michel Grove. But in support of my opinion, 
it may be proper to give some reasons for the choice of these 
general positions. 

1. The aspect of a house recpiires the first consideration, 
since no beauty of prospect can compensate for the cold expo- 
sure to the north, the glaring blaze of a setting sun, or the 
frequent boisterous winds and rains from the west and south- 
west; while in a southern aspect, the sun is too high to be 
troublesome in summer, and during the winter, it is seldom an 
unwelcome visitant in the climate of Enirland. 


<2, can hardly be necessary to enumerate the advantages 
of pkcing the offices near, and stables at no great distance from 

the house. 

4. The many interesthig circumstances that lead us nito a 
kitchen garden, the many inconveniencies which I have witnessed 
from the removal of old gardens to a distance, and the many 
instances in which I have been desired to bring them back to 
their original situations, have led me to conclude that a kitchen 
garden cannot be too near, if it be not seen from the house. 

5. So much of the comfort of a country residence depends 
on the produce of its home farm, that even if the proprietor 
of the mansion should have no pleasure in the fashionable expe- 
riments in husbandry, yet a farm, with all its appendages, is 
indispensable: but when this is considered as an object of prof f, 
the gentleman-farmer commonly mistakes his aim; and as an 
object of ornament, I hope the good taste of the country wdl 
never confound the character of a park with that of a farm. 

To every dwelling there must belong certain unsightly pre- 
mises, which can never be properly ornamental ; such as yards 
for coal, wood, linen, &c. and these are more than doubled 
when the farm house is contiguous ; for this reason I am of 
opinion, that the farming premises should be at a greater distance 
than the kitchen garden or the stables, which have a more natural 
connexion with each other. 

The small pool in front of the house has been purposely left; 
not as an object of beauty in itself, but as the source of great 
beauty to the scenery; for in the dry valleys of Sussex, such a 
pond, however small, will invite the deer and cattle to frecpient 


the lawn in front of the house, and add to the view, motion 
and animation. 

Those who only remember the former approaches to this 
house over lofty downs, with a dangerous road to descend, will 
hardly believe, that this venerable mansion is not situated in the 
bottom, but at the extremity of a valley; for, in reality, the 
house is on the side of a hill, and by the proposed line of approach 
it will appear that it actually stands on a considerable eminence, 
the road ascending along the whole course of the valley for more 
than a mile." 

Where a house, like that at Garnons, by its situation and 
southern aspect, will constantly be a marked feature from the 
surrounding country, presenting only one front embosomed in 
wood, that front should be so extended as to distinguish the 
site of the mansion with adequate importance. 

In such a situation it would be difiicult to produce the same 
greatness of character by a regular Grecian edifice, that will be 
eft'ected by the irregularity of outline in the proposed house, 
offices, and stables; and in defence of this picturesque style, I 
shall take the liberty to transcribe in a note " the following very 
judicious remarks of R. L. Girardin Viscomte d'Ermenonville. 

• " C'est par une suite de cet usage de voir et d'entendre par les yeux et les oreilles 
" de I'habitude, sans se rendre raison de rien, que s'est etablie cette manifere de cooper 
" sur le mime patron la droite et la gauche d'nn batiment. On appelle cela de la 
" symetrie; le N6tre I'a introduite dans les jardins, et Mansard dans les batiments, et 











A plan of the house proposed for this situation is added to 
shew how conveniently the comforts of modern habitations may 
be adapted to ancient magnificence; and I rejoice in observing 
that many large houses are at this time building, or altering, 
in this irregular style, under the direction of one of our most 
eminent architects. I may mention those of Casuiobury and 
WicKHAM Market, which disdain the spruce affectation of 
symmetry so fatal to the Gothic character. 

" cequ'il y a de cuiieux, c'est que lorsqu'on demande a quoi bonr aucun expert Jur6, 
" ne peut le dire; car cette sacr6e symetrie ne contribue en rien k la solidit^, ni «^ la 
" commodit6 des ba.timents, et loin qu'elle contribue a leur agr^nient, il n'y a si 
" habile Peintre, qui puisse rendre supportable dans un tableau un batiment tout plat- 
" tement symetrique. Or, il est plus que vraisemblable que si la copie est ressemblante 
" et mauvaise, Toriginal ne vaut gueres mieux, d'autant qu'en general tous les desseins 
" de fabriques font plus d'efFet en peinture qu'en nature." 

" C'est done I'effet pittoresque qu'il faut princrpalement chercher, pour donner aux 
*' batiments le charme par lequel ils peuvent s^duire et fixer les yeux. Pour y par- 
" venir, il faut dabord choisir le meilleur point de vue pour developper les objets; et 
" tacher, autant qu'il est possible, d'en presenter plusieurs faces." 

" C'est a donner de la saillie, et du relief a toutes les formes, par I'opposition des 
" renfoncemens, et par un beau contraste d'ombre et de lumiere, c'est dans un juste 
" rapport des proportions, et de la convenance avec tous les objects environnans, qui 
" doivent se presenter sous le meme coup d'oeil ; c'est a bien disposer tous les objets 
" sur difF6rens plans, de manifere que I'effet de la perspective semble donner du move- 
" ment aux differentes parties dont les une paroissent eclair6es, les autres dans I'ombre; 
" dont les unes paroissent venir en avant, tandis que les autres semblent fuir; enfin 
" c'est h la composer de belles masses dont les ornements et les details ne combattent 
"jamais I'effet principal, que doit s'attacher essentiellement I'architecture." 

" Les anciens I'avoient si bien senti, quils ne se sont jamais occupies dans leur 
" constructions, que de la grande masse, de manifere que les plus precieux ornements 
" senibloient se confondre dans I'effet general, et ne contrarioient jamais I'objet prin- 
" cipal de I'ensemble, qui annoncoit toujours au premier coup d'oeil, par son genre et 
" ses proportions, le caractere et la destination de leur edifices." 


When a house, as in the foregoing instance, is to be built on 
the side of a hill, or on an inclined plane, it is hardly possible 
to dispose it in any other form than that of an extended front: 
but this supposes a certain degree of property to belong to the 
house, or it is apt to appear too large for the annexed estate: this 
objection is however less forcible in a villa than in a mansion ; 
yet even a villa, which covers too much of its own field or 
lawn, partakes more of ostentation than good taste. 
. A field of a few acres called Brentry Hill, near Bristol, 
commands a most pleasing and extensive view. In the fore- 
ground are the rich woods of King's Weston, and Blaize Castle, 
with the picturesque assemblage of gardens and villas in Henbury 
and Westbury; beyond which are the Severn and Bristol Chan- 
nel, and the prospect is bounded by the mountains of South 
Wales. This view is towards the west, and I have generally 
observed, that the finest prospects in England are all towards 
this point. '^ Yet this, of all aspects, is the most unpleasant for 
a house; it was not therefore advisable to give an extended front 
in this direction, yet it would have been unpardonable not to 
have taken advantage of so fine a prospect. 

A compact plan often demands more trouble and contrivance, 
than a design for a palace, in which the rooms may be so nume- 
rous, that different apartments may be provided for summer and 

■' This remark concerning our finest prospects being towards the west, has been 
so often confirmed by repeated observations, that I have endeavoured to discover some 
natural cause for its general prevalence ; and perhaps it may, in some degree, be 
accounted for from the general position of the strata in all rocky countries, which 
appear to dip towards the east and rise towards the west; in one direction the view is 
along an inclined plane, in the other, it is taken from the edge of a cliff, or some 
bold promontory overlooking the country towards the west. 


for winter use; but where compactness and oeconomy are studied, 
some contrivance is necessary to avail ourselves of views and 
aspects, without sacrificing convenience and relative Jitness to the 
beauty of the prospect. 

Under this restraint perhaps few houses have been built with 
more attention to the situation and circumstances of the place, 
than the villa at Brentry. The eating-room is to the north, with 
one window towards the prospect, which may be opened or 
shut out by Venetian blinds at pleasure. The breakfast room 
is towards the south, and the drawing-room towards the 

Modern habits have altered the uses of a drawing-room ; 
formerly the best room in the house was opened only a few 
days in each year, where the guests sat in a formal circle, 
but now the largest and best room in a gentleman's house is 
that most frequented and inhabited : it is filled with books, 
musical instruments, tables of every description, and whatever 
can contribute to the comfort or amusement of the guests, who 
form themselves into groups, at different parts of the room ; and 
in winter, by the help of two fire-places, the restraint and 
formality of the circle is done away. 

This has been often happily effected in old houses by 
laying two rooms together, preserving the fire-places in their 
original situations, without regard to correspondence in size or 
place; but two fires not being wanted in summer, a provision 
is made in this villa to preserve an additional window towards 
the fine prospect at that season of the year; and the pannel, 
which ornaments the end of the room, may be removed in winter, 
when the window will be less desirable than a fire-place ; thus 
the same room will preserve, in every season, its advantages of 

2 B 


aspects and of views, while its elegance may be retained without 
increasing the number of rooms for different purposes.^ 

' Tliis attention to the wants of different seasons has been too little studied in 
this country, whilst in France almost every large house has its Gar^on tapessier, whose 
business it is to change the furniture of the apartments for summer and winter. Those 
who have compared the fitting up of rooms in France, with that of any other country 
of Europe, must doubtless give the preference to French taste, as far as it relates to 
the union of internal magnificence and comfort; but those architects who copy both 
the inside and outside of Italian houses, should at least provide for such occasional 
alterations as our climate may require. 

Another circumstance may be mentioned, in which oeconomy has been consulted 
at this small villa. More rooms are generally required on the chamber than on the 
ground floor; yet, except the kitchen, there is no part of a house which ought pro- 
})erly to be so lofty as the principal rooms; instead, therefore, of increasing the quan- 
tity of offices, by what a witty author calls, " turning the kitchen out of doors for 
" smelling of victuals," this offence is here avoided by the external passage of 

The operations of landscape gardening have often been classed under the general 
term o? improvement ; but there are three distinct species. The Jirst relates to places 
where the grounds are altered, and adapted to a house already existing ; the second 
to those where the houses, by additions, having changed their original character 
or aspect, renders it necessary to make alterations in the ground also; the third 
includes those places where no house previously exists, and where the entire plan of 
the house appendages and grounds has sometimes been called a Creation. Of the first 
kind it is needless to enumerate examples. Among the second may be mentioned 
those, in which the entrance of the house being changed, new rooms added, or barns, 
stables, and kitchen gardens removed, new arrangements have taken place, as at 
Abi NGTON Hall, Clay BERRY, Wallhall,West-Coker,Bftchworth, High LANDS, 
Brandsbury, Holwood, &c. Of those places which may be called Crea/ZowA, the num- 
ber is necessarily small, yet I may refer to the following examples. In some, where 
new houses were built, I was consulted by the respective architects on the situation and 
appendages; as at Bracondale, Milton House, Donnington, Buckminster, 
CouRTEEN Hall, Bank Farm, Chilton Lodge, Dulwich Casina, Holme Park, 
Streatham, The Grove, Southgate, Luscombe, &c. In others I gave general 
plans for the whole, with the assistance of my Son only in the architectural department, 
as at Brentry Hill, Cotham Bank, Organ Hall, Stapleton, Stratton Park, 
Scarrisbrick, Panshanger, Bayham, &c. 

'/r^^e fnry>-t •' 

ry f*-fff* /t^f/t^ie 

lomton.BibUskcJ 4, .rwu r8oi.i\- JVjflm Bifh Si>lbom. 



Ancient Mansions — Danger of modernizing — Three characters of 
Gothic Architecture —for Castles, Churches, and Houses — 
CoRSHAM House — Mixing Characters, how far allowable — 
Port Eliot — Remarks on Grecian and Gothic Architecture, 
extracted from the Red Book in the Library of Magdalen 
College, Oxford — Example of Additions to the Gothic 
Mansion o/Ashton Court. 

The following extract from the Red Book of Corsham, may 
serve to exemplify the impropriety of improving the grounds 
without previous attention to the style, character, and situation 

of the house. 

At the time Corsham House was erected, instead of the 
modern houses now placed in the centre of parks, distant from 
every other habitation, it was the glory and pride of an English 
baron to live in or near the town or village which conferred its 
title on his palace, and often on himself. Nor was the proximity 
of the village attended with any inconvenience so long as the 
house was disjoined from it by ample court yards, or massive 
gates; some of its fronts might look into a garden, lawn, or park, 
where the neighbours could not intrude. Yet even these views, 
in some instances, were confined, formal, and dull, by lofty walls 
and clipped hedges. 


In determining the situation for a new house, it may often be 
advisable to place it at a distance from other habitations, that the 
modern taste for freedom and extent may be gratified ; but in 
accommodating plans of improvement to houses already built, it 
requires due consideration how far such taste should be indulged, 
otherwise we may be involved in difficulties and absurdities; for 
it is not uncommon to begin by removing walls which conceal 
objects far more offensive than themselves. 

When additions or alterations are made to an old house; 
internal convenience and improvement should certainly be the 
first objects of consideration; yet the external appearance and 
character must not be neglected. This is a circumstance which 
our ancestors seem to have little regarded, for we frequently 
distinguish the dates of additions to buildings by the diflferent 
styles of architecture; and hence it often happens, that a large 
old house consists of discordant parts mixed together, without 
any attempt at unity either in date or character of building. 

This was of less consequence, when each front, surrounded 
by its court or parterre, became a separate and entire object; 
but since modern gardening, by removing those separations, has 
enabled us to view a house at the angle, and at once to see two 
fronts in perspective, we become disgusted by any want of unity 
in the design. 

The south front of Corsham is of the style called Queen 
Elizabeth's Gothic, although rather of the date of King James. 
The north front is of Grecian architecture. 

The east front is in a correct, but heavy style of regular 
architecture; and to alter the old south front in conformity to 
it, would not only require the Avhole to be entirely rebuilt, but 

rOM3HAM liOUv^E, 

■iftl t// ■ 4>/i^€-/l . 


'tt^l^VtiaZ i^^rt/4^^trf?A. ^'"^ u,/,/^^ ^ ^t.„t^,i . 

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nil til Li iMn u nil 

uuixf I ir 

Ga^/ A>- 

—/^/'it^ a^ f-i/'^'l£Y^\ 

/^*- ttr-tr^/^it'ti/^ /,> ,-//ijr I Ap^./^. 

/.■n,/an.fii/,lij/ial ^..Tutu-.ISOlif.T.ravLT.Biati IfMam. 


make an alteration of every room in that part of the house 
unavoidable. This not according with the intention of the 
proprietor of Corsham House, the original south front becomes 
the most proper object for imitation. 

A house of Grecian architecture, built in a town, and sepa- 
rated from it only by a court-yard, always implies the want of 
landed property; because being evidently of recent erection, 
the taste of the present day would have placed the house in the 
midst of a lawn or park, if there had been sufficient land adjoining: 
while the mansions built in the Gothic character of Henry VHI, 
Elizabeth, and James, being generally annexed to towns or vil- 
lages, far from impressing the mind with the want of territory, 
their size and grandeur, compared with other houses in the 
town, imply that the owner is not only the lord of the sur- 
rounding country, but of the town also. 

The valuable and celebrated collection of pictures, at Corsham 
House, in a modern Grecian edifice, might appear recent, and 
not the old inhabitants of an ancient mansion, belonging to a 
still more ancient family: and although Grecian architecture 
may be more regular, there is a stateliness and grandeur in the 
lofty towers, the rich and splendid assemblage of turrets, battle- 
ments, and pinnacles, the bold depth of shadow produced by 
projecting buttresses, and the irregularity of outline in a large 
Gothic building, unknown to the most perfect Grecian edifice. 


Gothic structures may be classed under three heads, viz. 
The Castle Gothic, Xh^ Church Gothic, or the House Gothic: 
let us consider which is the best adapted to the purposes of a 

The Castle Gothic, with few small apertures and large masses 
of wall, might be well calculated for defence, but the apartments 
are rendered so gloomy, that it can only be made habitable by 
enlarging and increasing these apertures, and, in some degree, 
sacrificing the original character to modern comfort. 

The more elegant Church Gothic consists in very large aper- 
tures with small masses or piers: here the too great quantity of 
light requires to be subdued by painted glass; and however 
beautiful this may be in churches, or the chapels and halls of 
colleges, it is seldom applicable to a house, without such violence 
and mutilation, as to destroy its general character: therefore a 
Gothic house of this style would have too much the appearance 
of a church; for, I believe, there are no large houses extant of 
earlier date than Henry VIII, or Elizabeth, all others being 
eitlier the remains of baronial castles or conventual edifices. 

At the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII, a 
new species of architecture was adopted, and most of the old 
mansions now remaining in England were either built or repaired, 
about the end of that reign, or in the reign of Queen Elizabeth : 
hence it has acquired in our days the name o^ Elizabeths Gothic; 
and although in the latter part of that reign, and in the unsettled 
times which followed, bad taste had corrupted the original purity 
of its character, by introducing fragments of Grecian architecture 
in its ornaments, yet the general character and effect of those 
houses is perfectly Gothic; and the bold projections, the broad 


masses, the richness of theh' windows, and the irregular outhne 
of their roofs, turrets, and tall chimnies, produce a play of light 
and shadow wonderfully picturesque, and in a painter's eye, 
amply compensating for those occasional inaccuracies urged 
against them as specimens of regular architecture. 

Although the old south front should he the standard of cha- 
racter for the new elevations of Corsham House, yet I hold it 
not only justifiable, but judicious, in the imitation of any building, 
to omit whatever is spurious and foreign to its character, and 
supply the places of such incongruities from the purest examples 
of the same age. For this reason, in the plans delivered, the 
Grecian mouldings are omitted, which the corrupt taste of King 
James's time had introduced, and the true Gothic mouldings of 
Elizabeth's reign are introduced. 

The turrets, chimney shafts, and oriels, will be found in the 
examples of Burleigh, Blickling, Hampton Court, Hatfield, &c. 
or in most of the buildings of Henry VHI, and Elizabeth. The 
centre of the north front, although of the same character, being 
in imitation of a building somewhat earlier than Elizabeth, toge- 
ther with the peculiarity of its form, it is necessary to describe 
why it has been adopted. Here another principle arises, viz. 
that in designing any Gothic building, it is presumed that some 
fragments exist of the style we propose to imitate; otherwise it 
ceases to be an imitation. 

In pursuance of this principle, we ^looked for an instance of 

' In speaking of this house I use tlie plural number, because the plans were the 
joint effort of a connexion and confidence which then so intimately existed between 
me and another professional person, that it is hardly possible to ascertain to whom 
belongs the chief merit of the design. Yet I claim to myself all that relates to the 


an octangular room projecting beyond the general line of the 
wall, in some building of that date. The chapel of Henry VII, 
at Westminster, though not an octagon, was the only projecting 
regular polygon : this therefore became our model for the centre 
room of the north front, and this example not only furnished a 
precedent for a projecting room, but other parts of its compo- 
sition peculiarly suited our situation. 

In the modern rage for removing to a distance all those objects 
which were deemed appendages to the ancient style of gardening, 
such as terraces, lofty walls, almshouses, quadrangular courts, 
&c. a mistaken idea has prevailed, that the house should stand 
detached from every surrounding object: this injudicious taste 
has, in many parts of the kingdom, destroyed towns and villages, 
to give solitary importance to the insulated mansion. 

" The situation of Port Eliot is apparently oppressed by 
its vicinity to St. Germain's and its stupendous cathedral, whose 
magnitude and lofty situation forbid its being made subordinate 
to the mansion. Under such circumstances, instead of shrinking 

reasoning and principles on which the character of the house was adopted: to my 
Son's knowledge and early study of the antiquities of England, may justly be attributed 
a full share of the general effect and proportions of the buildings ; but as we did not 
direct the execution of the work, the annexed elevations are on so small a scale, as 
to describe only the general outline proposed, without copying the detail of what has 
been executed. 


from this powerful neigljbour, it will rather be advisable to 
attempt such an union as may extend the influence of this vene- 
rable pile to every part of the mansion. 

This I purpose to effect by a narrow building, or cloister, to 
connect the house with the abbey, as described in the annexed 
view, in which the plan is purposely introduced to shew how 
inconsiderable in proportion to the present buildings would be 
such addition, although it appears to be a work of great mag- 
nitude; and this being a deception arising from perspective, I 
shall explain its cause. 

The south front of the house being only about fourscore feet 
distant from the abbey, it is impossible to view it, except in 
such perspective as must shew it very much foreshortened. For 
this reason, as it appears by the drawing, the west end of the 
house, though containing onljr two windows, is more conspi- 
cuous than the whole south front, in which there are twent}- 
six; it is therefore the more necessary that this small part of the 
building which faces the west should be enriched by such orna- 
ments as may be in harmony with the Gothic character of the 
abbey: the Venetian window, and the paladian window over it, 
may be externally united into one Gothic window, which, bv 
its size and character, will extend the importance of the abbey 
to the whole of the mansion.^ 

A large window is necessary, because a number of small 
parts will never constitute one great whole; but if a few large 
parts, such as the window here mentioned, the gateway, and 

^ A beautiful specimen of thus uniting two floors by one window, may be seen at 
Sheffield Place, where, I believe, it was first introduced by Mr. James Wyatt. 

2 C 


another large window in the cloister, be properly introduced, 
they will extend the impression of greatness, and overpower all 
the lesser parts of the building in the same manner that the 
great west entrance of the abbey takes off the attention from 
the smaller windows in the same massive pile. 

It may perhaps be observed, that in the cloister proposed, 
I have not strictly followed the architecture of the abbey, which 
is either Saxon or Norman, (a distinction in which very learned 
antiquarians have differed in opinion). It is certainly of a style 
anterior to the kind of Gothic distinguished by pointed arches 
and pinnacles. But I conceive there is no incongruity in mixing 
these different species of Gothic, because we see it done in every 
cathedral in the kingdom; indeed the greatest part of this abbey 
itself is of the date and style which I have adopted. 

The following remarks on the improvement of Magdalen 
College, Oxford, were accompanied with many drawings, on 
a scale too large for this work; but as the book is in the library 
of that college, I suppose such of my readers as are interested 
in these observations concernins; Grecian and Gothic architec- 
ture, may have access to the original designs, if they wish far- 
ther to consider the subject; at the same time their enquiries 
will be facilitated by having previously perused the following 
extract from that manuscript. 


" The love of novelty and variety, natural to man, is alone 
sufficient to account for the various styles of building* with which 
our universities abound. 

When Grecian architecture was first introduced into this 
country, it was natural to adopt the new style, without consi- 
dering how far its uses or g^eneral character mijjht accord with 

o o o 

the buildings to which it was applied; and, without recollecting 
the climate from whence it was imported, every other consi- 
deration was sacrificed, or made subservient to the external 
ornaments of Greece and Rome.** On a more exact enquiry, 
we shall find, it was not the habitable buildings of ancient Greece 
or Rome which formed our models: the splendid and magni- 
ficent remains of Athens, of Palmira, of Balbec, of Paestum, or 
of Rome herself, supply only temples with columns, entablatures, 
and porticos, but without windows or chimneys, or internal 
subdivisions by floors for apartments, indispensable in our 
English habitations, and even to our public buildings. 

In this climate we should seldom visit a hall, or a chapel, 
where all the light admitted was from the entrance, or from an 
uncovered aperture in the roof; and on such plans were con- 
structed all the temples of the ancients. 

Our students in architecture, who have visited southern 
climates, were therefore obliged to copy the works of more 

•" Among the conveniencies observable in Gothic colleges, may be mentioned the 
uninterrupted communication; this was formerly provided for by cloisters, that each 
member of the society might at all times, in all weather, Malk under cover from his 
respective apartment to the hall, the chapel, the library, or to the apartment of any 
other member. Such cloisters also yielded a dry and airy walk when the uncertainty 
of our climate would otherwise have prevented that sort of moderate exercise neces* 
£3ry to the sedentary occupations of the learned. 


modern artists, who, by various expedients, had endeavoured 
to make their buildings habitable; and from the modem Italian, 
rather than from the buildings of ancient Rome, have been intro- 
duced, floors intersecting the shaft of a lofty column, or, what 
is still more offensive, columns of various orders, built over each 
other; while the whole face of the building is cut into minute 
parts by ranges of scpiare apertures. Having at length disco- 
vered how seldom a very lofty portico ' can be useful in this 
climate, where we have little perpendicular sun, the portico 
itself is filled up with building, and the columns are nearly half 
buried in the walls: this is the origin of that unmeaning orna- 
ment called a three quarter column. 

By degrees these columns were discovered to be totally 
useless, and were at length entirely omitted : yet the skeleton of 
the portico and its architectural proportions still remain, as we 
frequently observe in the entablature and pediment of what is 
called a Grecian buildinsr. 

This is all that remains of Grecian architecture in the present 
new building at Magdalen College; yet from its simplicity we 
are still pleased with it, and more from its utility, because it 
evidently appears to be a succession of similar apartments for 
the separate habitations of a number of members of the same 

I have frequently smiled at the incongruity of Grecian architecture applied to 
buildings in this country, whenever I have passed the beautiful Corinthian portico 
to the north of the Mansion House, and observed, that on all public occasions it 
becomes necessary to erect a temporary awning of wood and canvas to guard against 
the inclemency of the weather. In southern climates, this portico, if placed towards 
the south, would have afforded shade from the vertical rays of the sun; but in our 
cold and rainy atmosphere, such a portico towards the north, is a striking instance of 
the false application of a beautiful model. 


society, equal in their rank and in their accommodations, and 
only claiming that choice of aspect or situation which seniority 
or priority confers. 

It has been observed, that the age of every manuscript is as 
well known to the learned antiquarian from the letters or cha- 
racters, as if the actual date were affixed. The same rule obtains 
in architecture. And even while we profess to copy the models 
of a certain aera, we add those improvements or conveniencies 
which modern wants suggest; and thus in after ages the dates 
will never be confounded. 

In Gothic, which is the style of architecture most congenial 
to the uses and to the character of a college, we are to study 
first, the general and leading principles, and afterwards that 
detail, of which we can collect the best specimens from buildings 
of the date we mean to imitate. 

The leading principles of all Gothic buildings Avere these: 

1. The Uses of a building were considered before its 

This principle is obvious in the staircases of towers, which were generally made 
in a turret at one corner, larger than the other three, and often carried up higher to 
give access to the roof of the building. Small turrets and pinnacles, or fineals, will 
be considered only as ornaments by the careless observer, but the mathematician 
discovers that such projections above the roof, form part of its construction; because 
they add weight and solidity to those abutments which support the Gothic arch. 

2. The ornaments prevailed most where they would be most 

The richest ornaments of Gothic architecture are the turrets, pinnacles, or open 
battlements on the top of the building. These were seen from all parts, and in the 


Leautiful tower at ^Magdalen, it may be observed, that the enrichment ceases below, 
where it would not be so much seen. The gates and entrances are highly ornamented, 
because they are immediately subject to the eye; but the wails are frequently without 
any decoration. This oeconomy in ornaments is confirmed by the laws of nature. 
See page 16"1. 

3. The several principal parts of the building were marked 
by some conspicuous and distinguishing character. 

As the chapel, the hall, the chapter- room, and the bishop's, abbot's, or president's 
habitation, &c. The dormitories were not less distinguished as a suite of similar 
apartments. But where, in conformity to the modern habits of symmetry, it is neces- 
sary to build two parts exactly similar, it is difficult for a stranger to distinguish their 
separate uses. 

4. Some degree of symmetry, or correspondence of parts, 
was preserved, without actually confining the design to such 
regularity as involved unnecessary or useless buildings. 

This irregularity, which has been already noticed in speaking of the towers for 
staircases, is carried still farther in those projections, by which an apparent centre is 
marked: for if any ancient Gothic building be attentively examined, it will be found 
that the apparent centre is seldom in the middle. Thus in the beautiful cloister of 
IMagdalen, the gateway is not in the centre of the west, nor the large window of the 
hail in the centre of the south side of the quadrangle; yet the general symmetry is 
not injured, and the dimensions are perhaps enlarged by this irregularity. 

5. This degree of irregularity seems often to have been 
studied in order to produce increased grandeur by an intricacy 
and variety of parts. A perfect correspondence of two sides 
assists the mind in grasping the whole of a design on viewing 
only one-half; it therefore, in fact, lessens the apparent mag- 
nitude, while the difiiculty with which dissimilar parts are viewed 
at once, increases the apparent dimensions, provided the ej^e 
be not distracted by too much variety. 


The frequency of Gothic towers having been placed at a different angle with the 
walls of the chapel, must have been more than accident. The position of the tower 
at Magdalen, M'ith respect to the chapel, is a circumstance of great beauty when seen 
from the centre of the cloisters, because two sides are shewn in perspective. And 
upon actual measurement it will be discovered that few quadrangular areas are cor- 
rectly at right angles. 

And lastly, The effect of perspective, and of viewing the 
parts of a building in succession, was either studied, or chance 
has given it a degree of interest, that makes it worthy to be 
studied: since every part of a building is best seen from certain 
points of view, and under certain relative circumstances of light, 
of aspect, of distance, or of comparative size. 

The great scale on which Gothic architecture was generally executed, is one 
source of the grand impression it makes on the mind, since the most correct model 
of a cathedral would convey no idea of its grandeur. Theyfl/*e Gothic attempts of 
our modern villas, oifend as much by their littleness as by the general incorrectness 
of detail. 

The Red Booh in Magdalen College contains such examples 
and remarks, concerning the detail of Gothic architecture, as 
might be curious to the antiquarian ; but which can only be 
understood by the numerous drawings with which the subject 
was elucidated. 

Having assigned as a reason for writing in the plural number in the Red Book of 
CoRSHAM, that a third person was there consulted, it may perhaps be proper to men- 
tion, that in the architectural part of the plans for Magdalen College, and all the 
other buildings described in this volume, I have been assisted by my son orily. 


The annexed plate of Ashton Court furnishes an example 
of making considerable additions to a very ancient mansion, 
without ncfflectino: the comforts of modern life, and without 
mutilating its original style and character. 

This house was built about the reign of Henry VI, and 
originally consisted of many different courts, surrounded by 
building, of which three are still remaining; in all these the 
Gothic windows, battlements, and projecting buttresses, have 
been preserved; but the front towards the south, 150 feet in 
length, was built by Inigo Jones, in a heavy Grecian style; this 
front was designed to form one side of a large quadrangle, but 
from the unsettled state of public affairs, the other three sides 
were never added, and the present long front was never intended 
to be seen from a distance: this building consists of a very fine 
gallery, which has been shortened to make such rooms as 
modern habits recpiire; but it is now proposed to restore this 
gallery to its original character, and to add in the new part, a 
library, drawing-room, eating-room, billiard-room, with bed- 
rooms, dressing-rooms, and a family apartment, for which there 
is no provision in the old part of the mansion. It is also pro- 
posed to take down all the ruinous offices, and rebuild them 
with the appearance of antiquity, and the conveniencies of 
modern improvement. 

If, in conformity to buildings of this date, the courts were 
all to be preserved, and surrounded with buildings, or lofty 
walls, the damp and gloom, as well as the grandeur of former 
times, would be recalled; but by opening the side of these 
courts to the park with an iron rail, cheerful landscapes will 
be admitted ; and by keeping the buildings in some parts low, 

Ifndon.Tujbluhd 4..Tme 7Sv7,by JTui'/ur/fia/, a.fTu; 


a free circulation of air will be encouraged, and the more lofty 
buildino-s rising above these subordinate ones, will produce that 
degree of grandeur and intricacy exemplified in the east view 

of Ashton Court. 

The old part (as distinguished in the plate) consists of the 
hall, the chapel, and the two turrets; but no part of the gallery 
added by Inigo Jones is visible, except the chimneys in perspec- 
tive. The new part consists of the entrance porch, and cloister, 
which supplies a covered way to the great hall, and forms one 
side of a quadrangle.'' 

Over this low range of offices the more lofty range of new 
building appears, consisting of a large square tower, which will 
also be seen rising above the long south front. In that part which 
joins the new to the old buildings, are a dressing-room and 
boudoir, lighted by a bow window, placed at the angle in such 
direction as to command an interesting view of Bristol, and the 
river Avon, with its busy scene of shipping. To take advantage 
of this view from a house in the country, may appear objec- 
tionable to some; but I consider it among the most interesting 
circumstances belonging to the situation of Ashton Court. 
To the wealthy mechanic, or the more opulent merchant per- 
haps, the view of a great city may recall ideas of labour, of 
business, of difficulty and dangers, which he would wish to 

" The idea of an octagon kitchen is taken ^rom that still remaining among the 
ruins of Glastonbury Abbey: I mentioned it to the architect engaged at Kenwood 
many years ago, and I have since observed it is introduced at Cashiobury, with 
admirable effect, by Mr. James Wyatt, under whose direction that ancient abbey 
has been lately altered with such good taste and contrivance, that I shall beg leave to 
refer to it as a specimen of adapting ancient buildings to modern purposes. 

2 D 


forget in the serenity of the country; but the country gentleman, 
who never visits the city but to partake in its amusements, has 
very different sensations from the distant view of a place which 
by its neighbourhood increases the value and the enjoyment 
of his estate. 

A general idea prevails, that in most cases it is better to 
rebuild than repair a very old house, and the architect often 
finds less difficulty in making an entire new plan, than in adapt- 
ing judicious alterations; but if a single fragment remains of the 
grandeur of former times, whether of a castle, an abbey, or 
even a house of the date of Queen Elizabeth, I cannot too 
strongly inforce the propriety of preserving the original character 
of such antiquity, lest every hereditary mansion in the kingdom 
should dwindle into the insignificance of a ' modern villa. 

' There is not more false taste in adding pointed arches, and wooden battlements, 
to a modern building, than in cutting off the projections, filling up the recesses, and 
mutilating the picturesque appendages of a true Gothic structure. 

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Application of Gardening and Architecture united in the Formation 
of a new Place — Fixatnple from Bayham — River — Lake — 
The House — Character — Obseivations on Grecian Houses — 
Characteristic Architecture — Exte?mal Gothic not incompatible 
with Comfort — How far it should prevail internally. 

The necessity of uniting architecture and landscape-gardening, 
is so strongly elucidated in the Red Book of Bayham, that I 
gladly avail myself of the permission of its noble possessor to 
insert the following observations : but as the ruins of Bayham 
Abbey are generally known to those who frequent Tunbridge 
Wells, it is necessary to premise that the situation proposed 
for a new house, is very different from that of the abbey. 

" No place concerning which I have had the honour to be 
consulted, possesses greater variety of water, with such dif- 
ference of character as seldom occurs within the limits of the 
same estate. 

The water near the abbey, now intersecting the meadow in 
various chanuels, should be brought together into one river, 
winding through the valley in a natural course: this may be so 
managed as to drain the land while it improves the scenery; 
and I suppose the whole of this valley to be a more highly 
dressed lawn, fed by sheep and cattle, but without deer. 


Above this natural division the vs^ater will assume a bolder 
character; that of a lake, or a broad river, filling the entire bottom 
of tiie valley between two wooded shores, and dashing the 
foot of that steep bank on which the mansion is proposed to 
be erected. This valley is so formed by nature, that an incon- 
siderable dam will cause a lake, or rather broad river, of great 
apparent extent: for when I describe water, I never estimate 
its effects by the number of acres it may cover; but by its form, 
its continuity, and the facility with which its termination is 

Where a place is rather to hej'ormed, than improved, that is, 
where no mansion already exists, the choice of situation for the 
house will, in some measure, depend on the purpose for which 
it is intended, and the character it ought to assume: thus a 
Qnansion, a villa, and a sporting seat, require very different adap- 
tation of the same principles, if not a variation in the principles 
themselves. The purpose for which the house at Bayham is 
intended must decide its character: it is not to be considered 
as a small villa, liable to change its proprietor, as good or ill 
success prevails; but as the established mansion of an English 
nobleman's family. Its character, therefore, should l^e that of 
greatness and of durability. The park should be a forest, the 
estate a domain, the house a palace. Noav, since magnificence 
and compactness are as diametrically opposite to each other as 
extension and contraction, so neither the extended scale of the 
country, nor the style, nor the character of the place, will 
admit of a compact house. 

In determining effects it is not sufficient to consider merely 
the size of the building; but as all objects appear great or small 


only by comparison, it is also necessary to consider tlie size and 
character of those by which this mansion will be accompanied. 

The surrounding scenery of Bayham must influence the 
character of the house, we must therefore consider what style 
of architecture will here be most appropriate. There has ever 
appeared to me something wrong, or misunderstood, in the 
manner of adapting Grecian architecture to our large mansions 
in the country: our professors having studied from models in a 
different climate, often forget the difference of circumstances, 
and shew their classic taste, like those who correctly quote the 
words, but misapply the sense of an author. The most striking 
feature of Grecian architecture is a portico, and this, when it 
forms part of a temple or a church, may be applied with pro- 
priety and grandeur; but when added to a large house, and 
intersected by two or three rows of windows, it is evidently 
what in French is called un Applique, something added, an after 
thought; and it has but too often the appearance of a Grecian 
temple aflixed to an English cotton mill. 

There is also another circumstance belonging to Grecian 
architecture, viz. sijmmetri/, or an exact correspondence of the 
sides with each other. Syynmetry appears to constitute a part 
of that love of order so natural to man; the first idea of a child 
in drawing a house, is to make the Avindows correspond, and, 
perhaps, to add two correspondent wings. 

There are, however, some situations Avhere great magnifi- 
cence and convenience are the result of a building of this 
description; yet it can only be the case where the house is so 
large, that one of the wings may contain a complete suite of 


private apartments connected with the house by a gallery or 
library, while the other may consist of a conservatory, &c. 

Everv one who has observed the symmetrical elevations 
scattered round the metropolis, and the small houses with wings, 
ill tlie neighliourhood of manufacturing towns, will allow that 
symmetry so applied, is apt to degenerate into spruceness; and of 
the inconvenience of a house separated from its offices by a long 
passage (however dignified by the name of colonnade) there 
cannot surely be a question. There is yet another principle 
which applies materially to Bayham, viz. that symmetry makes 
an extensive building look small, while irregularity will, on the 
contrary, make a small building appear large: a symmetrical 
house would therefore ill accord with the character of the 
surrounding country. 

Having expressed these objections against the application of 
Grecian architecture, before I describe any other style of house 
I shall introduce some remarks on a subject which has much 
engaged my attention, viz. the adaptation of buildings not only 
to the situation, character, and circumstances of the scenery, 
but also to the purposes for which they are intended; this I 
shall call Characteristic Architecture. 

Although it is obvious that every building ought " to tell its 
own tale," and not to look like any thing else; yet this principle 
appears to have been lately too often violated: our hospitals 
resemble palaces, and our palaces may be mistaken for hospitals; 
our modern churches look like theatres, and our theatres appear 
like warehouses. In surveying the public buildings of the metro- 
polis we admire St. Luke's Hospital as a mad-house, and 


Newgate as a prison, because they both aniioiiiico their purposes 
by their appropriate appearance, and no stranger has occasion 
to enquire for what uses they are intended. 

From the palace to the cottage this principle should be 
observed. Whether we take our models from a Grecian temple, 
or from a Gothic abbey, from a castle, or from a college, if the 
building does not look like a house, and the residence of a 
nobleman, it will be out of character at Bayham. It may 
perhaps be objected, that we must exactly follow the models of 
the style or date we mean to imitate, or else we make a pasticcio, 
or confusion of discordant parts. Shall we imitate the thing, 
and forget its application.? No! let us rather observe how in 
Warwick Castle, and in other great mansions of the same cha- 
racter, the proud baronial retreat " of the times of old," has 
been adapted to the purposes of modern habitation. Let us 
preserve the massive strength and durability of the castle, and 
discard the gloom which former tyranny and cruelty inspired; 
let us preserve the light elegance of Gothic abbeys in our chapels, 
but not in our houses, where such large and lofty windows are 
inadmissible; let us, in short, never forget that we are building 
a house, whether we admire and imitate the bold irregular out- 
line of an ancient castle, the elegant tracery in the windows of 
a Gothic church, or the harmony of proportions, and the sym- 
metrical beauty of a Grecian temple. 

Of the three distinct characters, the Castle, the Abbey, and 
the House-Gothic, the former of these appears best calculated 
for Bayham. Yet as the object is not to build a castle, but a 
house, it is surely allowable to blend with the magnificence of 
this character the advantages of the other two, as well as the 

elegance, the comfort, and tlie convenience of modern habitation. 
It may be urged, that the first purpose of a castle is, defence; 
that of a house, habitation; but it will surely be allowed, that 
something more is required than the mere purposes of habi- 
tation. An ordinary carpenter may build a good room ; a 
mechanic rather more ingenious may connect a suite of rooms 
together, and so arrange their several offices and appendages 
as to make a good house; that is, a house sufficient for all the 
purposes of habitation. But an architect will aim at something 
higher; he will add to the internal convenience, not merely 
external beauty, but external propriety and character ; he will 
aim not only to make a design perfect in itself, but perfect in 
its application. 

Where the lawn, the woods, the water, the whole place, 
and the general face of the surrounding country, are on so 
extensive a scale, the only means of preserving the same cha- 
racter is, by extending the plan of the house also. How can 
this be effecled unless we adopt the Gothic style of architecture.^ 
In Grecian or modern buildings, it has been considered an 
essential part of the plan to conceal all the subordinate appen- 
dages of the mansion, such as the stables, the offices, the garden 
walls, &c, and why? Because they neither do, nor can partake 
of the character of the house; and the only method by which 
this extension of site is usually acquired in a Grecian building, 
is, by adding wings to the house. Thus the same mistaken 
principle obtains, and is considered material, for it is a part of 
the duty of these wings to conceal the offices. But if continuity 
be an essential cause of the sublime, if extension be an essential 
cause of magnificence, whatever destroys continuity w eakens 



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the sublime, and whatever destroys extension lessens magni- 
ficence; therefore as the offices and court-yards attached to a 
house, are generally five times more extensive than the house 
itself: where magnificence is the object, why neglect the most 
effectual means of creating it? viz. continuity and extension, 
blended with unity of design and character : or, in other words, 
when it is desirable to take advantage of every part of the build- 
ings, why conceal five parts in six of them? 

If the truth of this principle be allowed, I trust the propriety 
of its application will be obvious, and for its effect I appeal to 
the following sketch, where both the actual size of the house, 
and its comparative proportion to the surrounding scenery, are 
correctly ascertained. 

However pleasing these representations may appear, I should 
consider myself as having planned a " castle in the air," unless 
it should be proved that this design is not only practicable, but 
that it actually contains no more building than is absolutely 
necessary for the purposes of modern habitation. By the plan 
it appears to contain, 

1. A Gothic hall, for the sake of ancient grandeur, but 
leading through a passage lower than the rooms, for the sake 
of not depressing their comparative height. The hall and pas- 
sages should be rather dimly lighted bv painted glass, to impress 
a degree of gloom essential to grandeur, and to render the 
entrance into the rooms more brilliant and cheerful. 

This, it may be objected, is in character with those houses 
which Gray describes as havins" 


" Windows that exclude the light, 
" And passages that lead to nothing." 
2 E 


Yet I trust these passages will be found no less useful than 
magnificent; they lead to the several rooms, which form a 
complete suite of apartments, consisting of eating-room, break- 
fast-room, drawing-room, and library. The rooms all open by 
windows to the floor on a terrace, which may be enriched with 
orange trees and odoriferous flowers, and will form one of the 
greatest luxuries of modern, as well as one of the most magni- 
ficent features of ancient habitation. 

It now remains for me to shew that I have not suggested a 
design more expensive, than a house of any other character, 
cantaining the same number of apartments. The chief diificulty 
of buildino- arises from the want of materials. A house of Port- 
land stone would be very expensive. A red brick house, as 
Mr. Brown used to say, "puts the whole valley in a fever." A 
house of yellow brick is little better. And the great Lord Mans- 
field often declared, that had the front of Kenwood been 
originally covered with Parian marble, he should have found 
it less expensive than stucco. Yet one of these must be used in 
any building except a castle; but for this the rude stone of the 
countr} , lined with bricks or faced with battens, will answer 
every purpose; because the enrichments are few, except to the 
battlements and the entrance tower, which are surely far less 
expensive than a Grecian portico. 

The attached offices, forming a part of the front, are so dis- 
posed as to lie perfectly convenient to the principal floor and to 
the private apartments, while the detached offices, the court- 
yards, and even the garden-walls, may be so constructed and 
arranged, as to increase in dimensions the extent of the castle. 
This unity of design will be extended from the house to the 


water, by the boat-house, the cold-bath, and the walls with steps 
leading to a bridge, near which the engine-house may form a 
barbican, and contribute to the magnificent effect of the picture, 
as well as to the general congruity of character. 

When we look back a few centuries, and compare the habits 
of former times with those of the present, we shall be apt to 
wonder at the presumption of any person who shall propose to 
build a house that may suit the next generation. Who, in the 
reign of Queen Elizabeth, would have planned a hbrary, a 
music-room, a billiard- room, or a conservatory? Yet these are 
now deemed essential to comfort and magnificence: perhaps, in 
future ages, new rooms for new purposes will be deemed equally 
necessary. But to a house of perfect symmetry these can never 
be added : yet it is principally to these additions during a long 
succession of years, that we are indebted for the magnificent 
irregularity, and splendid intricacy, observable in the neighbour- 
ing palaces of Knowle andPenshurst. Under these circumstances, 
that plan cannot be good which will admit of no alteration. 

" Malum consilium est, quod non mutari potest." 

But in a house of this irregular character every subsequent 
addition will increase the importance : and if I liave endeavoured 
to adopt some of the cumbrous magnificence of former times, I 
trust that no modern conveniences or elegances will be unpro- 
vided for. 


It has been cloiilrted how far a house, externally ™ Gothic, 
should internally preserve the same character, and the most 
ridiculous fancies have been occasionally introduced in libraries 
and eating-rooms, to make them appear of the same date with 
the towers and battlements of a castle, without considering that 
such rooms are of modern invention, and consequently the 
attempt becomes an anachronism: perhaps the only rooms of a 
house, which can with propriety be Gothic, are the hall, the 
chapel, and those long passages which lead to the several apart- 
ments; and in these the most correct detail should be observed. 
As a specimen of internal Gothic, my son has inserted a design 
for a Gothic hall, which is supposed to occupy two stories: yet 
the comparative loftiness will not depress the height of the 
rooms, because the gallery which preserves the connexion in 
the chamber floor, marks a decided division in the height; and 
as this hall ought not to open into any room without an interme- 
diate, and lower passage, the several apartments will appear 
more lofty and magnificent. 

™ It has occasionally been objected to Gothic houses, that the old form of windows 
is less comfortable than modem sliding sashes; not considering that the square top to 
a window is as much a Gothic form as a pointed arch, and that to introduce sash 
frames, as at Donnington, we have only to suppose the muUions may have been taken 
out without injuring the general effect of the building; while, in some rooms, the 
ancient form of window with large mullions may be preserved. Those who have 
noticed the cheerfulness and magnificence of plate glass in the large Gothic windows 
of Cashiobury and Cobham, mIU not regret the want of modern sashes in an ancient 

, /^'V^CyS^././.-H: 

VlMA. FOR ACJOTHIf l>,lXS^\i'il^ . 

lonaon J".iblifhed Juiic*4.18«2, l).y .I.Ta^^oT. Vii^ UoTLorn . 



Conclusion — Concerning Colour — New Theory of Colours and 
Shadows, hij Dr. Milner — Application of the same — 
Harmony — Discord — Contrast — Difficulty of Comparisons 
between Art and Nature. 

The Art of Painting has been usually treated under four distinct 
heads, viz. 

Composition. Design, or Drawing. Expression, and Colouring. 
Each of which may, in some measure, be applied to Land- 
scape Gardening, as it has been treated in this work. 

Composition, includes those observations on utility, scale, per- 
spective, &c. contained in Chap. I, and II. 

Design, may be considered as belonging to the remarks on water, 
wood, fences, lines, &c. contained in Chap. Ill, 
IV, V, VI, and VII. 

Expression, includes all that relates to character, situation, 
arrangement, and the adaptation of works of art 
to the scenery of nature, which have been discussed 
in the remaining chapters of this work; and lastly, 

Colouring, so far as it relates to certain artificial objects, has 
been mentioned in Chap. XL 


Having since iDeen led to consider this subject more atten- 
tively, in consequence of a conversation w^ith Mr. Wilberforce 
concerning a new theory of colours and shadows, I have, through 
his intervention, obtained permission to enrich my work with the 
following curious remarks: and as Mr. Wilberforce, in his letter 
which inclosed them, observes of their reverend and learned 
author, that " He is a man unequalled for the store of knowledge 
" he possesses, for the clearness with which he views, and the 
" happy perspicuity with which he communicates his concep- 
" tions," so I shall give this theory in his own words. 


% the Rev. Dr. MILNER, F. R. S. 


Sect. 1. Several years ago some curious questions, concerning the colours of the 
shadows of bodies, were proposed to me by an ingenious and philosophical friend, who 
himself can paint very well, and is an excellent judge of colours. He first mentioned 
the following facts. 

2. Supposing a piece of writing paper to be Mcakly illumined by white light, and 
at the same time to have a strong red light thrown upon it by any contrivance, the 
shadow upon the paper, of a body placed in the said red light, will be green. 

3. Or, vice versa, if a strong green light be thrown upon the same paper, the 
shadow of a body placed in the green light will be red. 

4. Under similar circumstances, the shadow of a body intercepting orange- 
coloured light will be blue, purple, or almost violet, according as the orange light 
contains more or less red ; and vice versa. 

5. And lastly, the shadow of a body which intercepts yellow light will be purple, 
and vice versa, 

6. The phenomena just mentioned may be exhibited in several ways. The weak 
white light may always be had in a dark room, either by admitting a small portion of 
daylight, or by means of a small lamp or wax taper, the light of which is sufficiently 


white for the purpose; and in regard to the strong coloured lights, they are also 
easily procured, either by using transmitted or reflected light of the particular colour 
wanted. As candles and lamps are always at hand, and solar rays not so, I will here 
briefly describe the method of shewing any one, and consequently all, of these beautiful 
experiments by candle light. 

A small taper 
burning clear. 

A strong flame 
of a large can- 
dle or Argand's 

Green shadow. 

Red Shadow. 

7. L. M. N. O. is a piece of white paper, illumined as in the figure; D. is a small 
cylinder of wood, as a black lead pencil, or even one's finger, in such a manner, as 

to produce the respective shadows D.V. and D. K. C. being a piece of red glass 

in this experiment. 

8. If instead of red glass, a piece of green glass be placed at C. then the shadow 
D. V. will no longer be green but of a reddish cast; and so of the rest as mentioned 
above at Sect. 3. 

g. My friend was very desirous that I should endeavour to account for these beau- 
tiful and most extraordinary appearances ; with this view I first observe, that the 
burning lights A. and B. Avhen the experiments are made without daylight, may be 
reckoned nearly white, particularly if they are made to burn without smoke, though, 
in reality, they are yellowish, or even orange-coloured sometimes, as is very plain 
when they are compared with strong daylight. 

10. Secondly, white light is well known to consist of several other colours, as red, 
orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and violet; and further, as violets and purples, 
with all their varieties, may be imitated by mixing blue and red in different propor- 
tions ; and as green also may be compounded in a similar way by mixing blue and 
yellow; and oranges by mixing red and yellow; we need not attend to more than the 
three primary colours, red, yellozv, and blue; for, in fact, it is found that by mixing 
these three colours in certain proportions, a sort of white, or any colour may be 


formed, and there is reason to believe, tliat if we liad colours equal in brilliancy to 
the prismatic colours, the white so formed would be perfect. 

11. This last observation shews us, that white may be considered as made up even 
of two colours only, and we shall find it very convenient in the explanation of the 
phfenomena in question, to consider white as so made up, namely, of red and green, of 
yellow and purple, or of blue and orange. These colours are called contrasts to each 
other respectively: their apparent brilliancy, when they are placed contiguous to each 
other, is promoted in a remarkable manner, but they cannot be mixed together with- 
out nnitual destruction of their natural properties, and an approach to a white or a 
grey colour. 

1<2. To understand the experiment above represented on the paper, we are first to 
consider the nature of the shadow D. V. green as it is in appearance; that is, we are to 
consider what kind of light or lights can possibly come to this portion of the paper which 
we call the shadow D. V. ; and here it is plain, tliat this space D. V. is illumined only 
by the'zvhite liglit (I will call it) Avhich comes from the small taper A. directly, and 
also by a small quantity of white light from B. not directly, but by reflection from 
the sides of the room, or from other objects. The direct red light coming from B. 
through the red glass C. is intercepted by D. ; and the small quantity of this red light, 
which can arrive at the space DV. by reflection, is not worth mentioning; the green 
shadow D. V. therefore is illumined by a small quantity of white light, and our 
business is to explain M'hy it should appear green to the eye. 

13. Keep in mind that the idea of a perfect shadow excludes all light, and that 
the space D. V. is an imperfect shadow, illumined as we have seen with a small 
portion of white light. Let this small portion of white light be considered as made 
up of red light and green light, according to what has been stated above in Sect. 12, 
and the reason of the phaenomenon will be readily understood. 

For we must now attend to the strong red light which passes through the glass C. 
and covers the paper every where except in the space D. V. where it is intercepted: 
the effect of this strong light coming up to the very boundaries of the shadow D. V. 
is such as to incapacitate the eye from seeing at the same time the weaker red light 
contained in the shadow D. V. which we have proved to be really of a weak dull 
white colour, but which, because its reri light cannot be seen, appears green to the eye. 

l^. This effect of rendering the organs of perception insensible to weaker exci- 
tations, by strongly exciting those organs, is analogous to the constitution of the 

* I call it white light because it is nearly so, and because it answers all the purposes of perfectly white light; 
in such an experiment supposed to be made in a room without daylight. When actually compared with daylight, 
it is found to be yellowish, or even orange coloured. 


human frame in many instances. Accustom the eye either to much light, or to 
intense colours, and for a time it will hardly discern any thing hy a dull light, or l.y 
feeble colours, provided the feeble colours be of the ,ame kind with the previous 
strong ones. Thus, after it has been excited by an intense red, for example, it wdl 
for a^'time be insensible to weak red colours, yet it will still easily perceive a weak 
o-reen, or blue, &c. as in the instance before us respecting the shadow D. V. where 
the green part of the compound still affects the eye, after the red has ceased to pro- 
duct any effect, owing to the previous excitation of a stronger red." 

15 Nor is this the case only with the eye, it is the same with every other sense; 
precise instances of this kind in regard to the taste, the smell, the touch, &c. wdl 

occur plentifully to every one. 

1 6. 1 consider this solution of the appearances of the colours as perfectly satisfactory. 
Here it is applied only to one instance, but it is equally applicable to all the rest; and 
it appears to me to account for all the difficulties which seem to have embarrassed 
Count Rumford, in his very ingenious and entertaining paper, Phil. Trans. 1794, 
p 107 Also in Dr. Priestley's History of Optics, p. 43f?, there is a curious Chapter, 
containing the observations of philosophers on blue and green shadows ; the true 
cause of these shadows is not, I think, there mentioned ; and it may be entertaining 
to read that Chapter with these principles in the mind. 

17. When the sun has been near setting in a summer evening, I have often 
observed most beautiful blue shadows upon a white marble chimney-piece. In this 
case the weak white light of the evening which illumines the shaded part of the 
marble, is to be considered as compounded of two colours, orange and blue. The 
direct orange rays of the sun at this time, render the orange part invisible, and leave 

the blue in perfection. 

18 And in the same way is to be explained that beautiful and easy experiment 
mentioned by Count Rumford. p. ]03. Phil. Trans. 179^, where a burning candle in 

b This distinction .hould always be kept in mind, for unless the eye has been absolutely injured or weakened 
by excessive excitation, there is reason to believe that strong excitation, of it, whether in,n,ed.a.cly precedu3g 
weaker ones, or contemporaneous with them, much^e it, sensibility in regard to those wea er ones, provided 
only that they be of a different class. If the eye ha, been excited by a lively red colour, .t w.ll -- y perce- 
, L^ red, but it will perceive a weak green much better on account of the previous exctaUon by the st ong 
red . and the reason may be, that in looking at a red colour, the eye wastes none of that nervous sens.b.h.y 
is n'ecessary for its seeing a green colour, and the same reasoning holds in all other cases where the colours are 
contrasts to each other. For such colours seem incapable of mixing with each other, m the proper sense of the 
word as when red and yellow are mixed together, and produce a compound evidently partakmg of tl,e obvious 
properties of the two ingredients. When contrasts are mixed together, as red and green, these colours seem 
destructive of each other, and effect a compound approaching to whiteness. Slnular observations may be n,ade 

on the other senses. 

2 F 


the day-time produces two shadoM-s, and one of tliem of a most beautiful blue colour. 
The experiment is the more valuable, as it may be made at any time of the day with a 
burning candle. Almost darken a room, and then by means of a lighted candle and a 
little day-light, produce two shadows of any small object, as of a pencil, &c. one from 
the candle, and another from the day-light received at a small opening of one of the 
window-shutters; the light of the candle will appear orange-coloured in the day-time, 
and so will that shadow of the bod}' which belongs to, or is made by the day-light; 
but the shadow of the body made by the candle, will surprise any person, by being of 
a fine blue. 

19. More than once I have been agreeably struck with this appearance produced 
unintentionally when I have been writing by candle-light in a winter's morning; upon 
the day-light being let in, the shadow of my pen and fingers in the orange-light of the 
candle, were beautifully blue. 

20. I suppose there is such a thing as the harmony of colours, of which painters 
speak so much; according to the explanation here given, our key to the solution of 
every case of harmony and of contrast, is to consider what is the other colour, simple 
or compound, which, joined to a given one simple or compound, will constitute 
white. Thus red, requires green ; yellow, purple; blue, orange; and vice versa, the 
mixtures in proper proportions will be white. 

21. Sir Isaac Newton (Prop. 6. part. 2. of book i. Optics.) has given a method for 
judging of the colour of the compound in any known mixture of primary colours, but it 
is not easy, even for mathematicians, to put his rules in practice. The gentleman who 
consulted me on this subject of shadows, has been accustomed, for a long time, to assist 
his memory when he is painting by the use of the following simple diagram. Let R.Y. B. 
represent the three uncompounded colours, red, yellow, blue; and let O. G. P. repre- 
sent the compounds, orange, green, purple. It is evident, that to make a deeper 
orange, we must add more red ; and to make a bluer green, we must add more blue; 
and to make the purple redder, we must add more red, and vice versa: but besides 
this, the diagram puts us in mind that G. is the contrast to R. and that therefore those 
two colours cannot be mixed without approaching to a dull whiteness or greyness ; 
and the same may be said of Y. and P. and of B. and O. ; these colours are also con- 
trasts to each other, by mixture they destroy each other, and produce a whiteness, 
or greyness, according as they are more or less perfect, but when kept distinct, they 
are found to make each other look more brilliant by being brought close together, 
and all this is agreeable to what is said in sect. 1 1. and in the Note to Sect. 14. 

22. Sir Isaac Newton observes, that he had never been able to produce a perfect 
Avhite by the mixture of only two primary colours, and seems to doubt whether such 
a white can be compounded even of three. He tells us, that one part of red lead, 


and five parts of verdigris, composed a dun colour like that of a mouse ; but there is 
nothing in all this Mhich militates against the explanation here given of the cause of 
the coloured shadows of bodies; for even supposing that there did not exist in nature 
any two bodies of such colours as to form perfect whiteness by their mixture; or, to 
go still further, supposing that no two prismatic colours of the sun could form a 
compound perfectly white; still the facts and reasonings here stated respecting the 
mixtures of such colours as are called contrasts, are so near the truth, that they 
furnish a satisfactory account of the appearances of the colours of the shadows Avhich 
we have been considering. The terms by which we are accustomed to denominate 
colours, have not a very accurate or precise meaning, and particularly those terms 
which denote colours that are known to be mixtures of others, as green, purple, and 
orange : neither the prismatic green, nor the colour of any known green body, may, 
perhaps, combine with red so as to make actually an accurate white, and yet the 
existence or composition of such a green may not be impossible. The philosophical 
.reader will clearly perceive, that no argument of any weight can be drawn from 
considerations of this sort against this theory of coloured shadows. 

23. Every one knows that red colours and yellow colours mixed together, in 
different proportions, produce orange colours of various kinds ; also that reds and 
blues produce purples and violets; and, lastly, that blues and yellows produce greens 
in great variety ; but it is not so generally known that green, purple, and orange 
colours, are as it were almost annihilated by mixture, and much improved by conti- 
guity with red, yellow, and blue colours respectively. 

The little diagram suggests all these things to the memory, and a great many 
more of the same kind, and, therefore, must be extremely useful to the artist who is 
endeavouring to produce certain effects by contrast, harmony, &c. but it should 
always be carefully remembered, that it contributes nothing to the proof of any of 
the truths here advanced; the proof rests upon the reasons given for each of them 


This curious and satisfactory theory demonstrates that the 
choice of colours which so often distinguishes good from had 
taste in mamifactures, furniture, dress, and in every circumstance 
where colour may he artificially introduced, is not the effect of 
chance, or fancy, but guided by certain general laws of nature. 

Sir Isaac Newton discovered a wonderful coincidence be- 
tween sound and colours, and proves mathematically, that the 
spaces occupied by the colours in the prismatic spectrum corre- 
spond with the parts of a musical chord, when it is so divided as 
to sound the notes of an octave. So this resemblance may now 
be considered as extending further, for as in music, so likewise 
in colours, it will be found that harmony consists in distance and 
contrast, not in similitude or approximation. Two notes near 
each other, are grating to the ear, and called discords; in like 
manner, two colours very near each other, are unpleasing to the 
sight, and maybe c^[\ed discordant; this maybe proved by covering 
all the colours in the preceding diagram except the two adjoining, 
which, in every part of the scale, will appear discordant; while, 
on the contrarj^, if the two sides be covered in any direction so 
as only to shew the two opposite colours, they will appear in 
perfect harmony with each other; and this experiment confirms 
the good taste of those who, in the choice of colours, oppose 
reds to greens, yellows to purples, and blues to oranges, &c. 
But if instead of contrasting these colours, they are mixed, or 
so blended, as not to appear each distinctly, as in silks or linens 
where the stripes are too narrow; when seen at a little distance 
instead of relieving, they will destroy each other. In the applica- 
tion of this theory to some familiar instances, particularly in the 
furniture of rooms, I have observed that two colours here deemed 


discordant, may be used without ofFencling the eye, as green and 
bkie, or green and yellow; but I have always considered such 
assortment intolerable, unless one were very dark, and the other 
very light; and thus the effect is again produced by contrast, 
although on a different principle; it is the contrast, not between 
colours, but between light and darkness. 

So far this theory is perfectly satisfactory with respect to 
works of Art, but when carried to those of Nature, I confess 
my inability to reconcile a conviction of its truth, with certain 
appearances which seem to contradict it. 

By the universal consent of all who have considered the 
harmony of colours, it is allowed that in works of art, the 
juxta position of bright blues and greens is discordant to the 
eye, and the reason of this discordance has been shewn by the 
foregoing remarks. Yet these are the two prevailing colours 
in nature; and no person ever objected to the want of harmony 
in a natural landscape, because the sky was blue, and the surface 
of the earth covered with greens, except he viewed it with a 
painter's eye, and considered the difficulty, or even impossibility, 
of exciting the same pleasurable sensations by transferring these 
colours to his canvass; the only way in which I can solve this 
seeming paradox, is by observing, that the works of nature, and 
those of art, must ever be placed at an immeasurable distance, 
from the different scale of their proportions; and whether we 
compare the greater efforts of man, with the system in which 
the world he inhabits forms but an inconsiderable speck; 
or the most exquisite miniature of mechanism Avith the or- 
gans of sense and motion in an insect, we must equally feel 
the deficiency of comparison, the incompetency of imitation, 


and the imperfection of all human system. Yet while lost in 
wonder and amazement, the man of taste, and the true philo- 
sopher, will feel such agreement existing in the laws of nature as 
can only be the consequence of Infinite Wisdom and Design; 
while to the sceptic, whether in moral or in natural philosophy, 
the best answer will be in the words of the poet: 

" All nature is but art, unknown to thee; 

*' All chance, direction which thou canst not see; 

*' All discord, harmony not understood; 

*' All partial evil, universal good." 





Adaptation XI. 

Atlditions to old Houses XUI. 

Ancient and Modern Gardening X. 

Ancient Mansions XUI. 

Apparent Height, Sec 1 1. 

Approaches HI. & XI. 

Appropriation IX. 

Art and Nature compared X. & XV. 

Architecture and Gardening united XII. 

Grecian andGothic compared XHI. 

, . . . Cliaracteristic XIV. 

Arciiitectural Ornaments XI. 

Arrangement XII. 

Axis of Vision II. 

IJrown, Mr. his Architectural Works. . . .XII. 

Boundary Fences VI. 

Browsing Line IV. 

Characters various XI. 

Changes in Customs XII. 

Characteristic Architecture XIV. 

Colours XI. & XV^ 

Conservatory VIII. 

Contrasts XV. 

Cottages XI. 

Dates of different Houses.. XII. 

Decorations XI. 

Defence of the Art IX. 

Distance of Objects II. 

Drives V. 


Entrances to Parks XI. 

Extent of Ground IX. 

Eittent of Building XIV. 

Farms : . . VII. & XII. 

Ferry Boat HI. 

Fences VI. 

First Impressions X I. 

Field of Vision H. 

Flower Gardens VIII. 

Formation of new Place. . , XIV. 

Gates XI. 

Gothic Buildings XI. & XIII. 

Grecian Houses XIV. 

Green Houses VIII. 

Ground 1. 8c II. 

Harmony of Colours XV. 

Height of Objects II. 

Home Farm XII. 

Interior, how far Gothic , XIV. 

Kitchen Garden > XII. 

Light different II. 

Lines VI. 

Metals XI. 

Motion of Water III. 



Ornamental Buildings XI. 

Ornaments and Decorations XI. 

Park and Farm distinct VII. 

Perspective ElFects J. 8c XIII. 

Pictures and Painting IX. 

Plans of extended or contracted Houses. . XII. 

Planting IV. 

Pleasure Ground VIII. 

Reflexions from Water II. 

Removing Earth I. 

Roads altered XI. 

Rock Scenery 111. 


Scale of Proportions I. 

Symmetry XIV. 

Terraces X. 

Thinning Woods V. 

Treillage, or Trellis XI. 

Utility I. 

Variety of Situations XI. 

Vision, or Optics II. 

Water III. 

Woods V. 



Portrait to face the Title. 

Vignette, Implements, &c. end of Advertisement. 

Scale of Proportion I 

The Fort near Bristol g 

The Hill at Wentworth 14 

Morning Effect of Light 28 

Evening Effect of Light 29 

Water at West Wycombe 34 

Water at Wentworth 40 ' 

Bridge for Rock Scenery 44 

Natural and artiiicial Groupes 48 

Browsing Line 51 

View from the House at Shardeloes 64 

Map of Bulstrode : 67 

Difference of Lines in a Park or a Farm 94 . 

Flower Garden at Valleyfield 102 

Conservatory or Pavilion to a Gothic House 106 

Example of a Row of Trees 112 

Scene at Attingham 11 6 

Terraces at Burley in Rutlandshire 133 

Entrance to Harewood j 144 

Entrance to Blaize Castle 145 


Doric Portico at Stoke Park 149 %/ 

Gothic Cottage 151 ^■' 

Circular Temple r. . •; . . 153 i^ 

Cottage at Blaize Castle J. W. 155 v, 

Treillage Greenhouse .^.' 157 T^ '*' 

Cottage at Langley Park ] 62 ^ 

Plans of Houses of various Dates 171 ^ 

Michel Grove 179 \y 

Plan of an extended House 182 • n-v 

Plan of a compa6l House 1 86 >^ 

Corsham House 1 88 '^ 

Port Eliot 192 \/ 

Ashton Court. This Plate was finished with ■» 
the approlation qf the Proprietor before I \ 
learned that the alterations here shewn will not \ ^ 

immediately he carried into execution J 

Map of Bayhara 1 203 '' C 

General View of Bayham 208 ^^ 

Ground Plan proposed for a Gothic Mansion 209 ^ 

A Gothic Hall of Entrance 212 

Diagram to explain the Harmony of Colours 219 

T. Bensley, Printer, Belt Court, Fleet Street, I/indon.