The Garden Landscape Guide

Book: Observations on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, 1803
Chapter: Chapter XIII. Ancient Mansions

Gothic castles, churches and houses

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Gothic structures may be classed under three heads, viz., The Castle Gothic, the Church Gothic, or the House Gothic: let us consider which is the best adapted to the purposes of a dwelling. 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 apertures 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 either the remains of baronial castles or conventual edifices.