Glass and thatched roofs at Athelhampton

Glass roof and thatched roof at Athelhampton House and Garden

Glass roof and thatched roof at Athelhampton House and Garden

Here is a really good example of context-sensitive design: the glass roof sits beautifully with the thatched roof. It looks as though the pitch is the same and I can’t even be sure whether the piers which support the glass are old or new. But some of the other details are less than perfect – the trip rail, though suitably rustic,  seems unnecessary and the outdoor lantern is not in keeping with the arts and crafts excellence of the Athelhampton garden or indeed with what is described as one of the finest 15th century houses in England.

2 thoughts on “Glass and thatched roofs at Athelhampton

  1. Christine

    The World Buddhist Forum details the listing of Mt Wutai (“five terrace mountain”) in China by UNESCO []. The site listed under the category of ‘cultural landscape’ is an excellent example of the symbiotic relationship of landscape and architecture.

    Understanding the relationship between landscape, architecture and, in this instance, spiritual practice as the management of this site demonstrates is quite complex:

    “The mountain has became more serene after the ‘pulling down’, which is good for religious practice,” said Jamyang Molam, director of administration of the Pusading Lamasery.
    []See also the Annexure Survey Drawings of Significant Temples.

    In the UNESCO documents the importance of the temple complex located on Mt Wutai to World Buddhist practice is described as:

    “There had been monks from India, Nepal, Sri Lanka,Burma, Vietnam, Korean and Japan who traveled here to obtain sutra and be enlightened. In this manner the Buddhist culture and arts of Mount Wutai, including the Manjusri Worship, Avatamsaka Studies,Vinaya Studies, Buddhist music, sculpture, architecture, spread to the south and east Asian countries. The Manjusri Worship practiced at Mount Wutai became the common belief of Buddhist devotees in
    all Oriental nations and Mount Wutai became a worldly recognized Sacred Place for Buddhism equivalent to the Vulture Mountain of India.”

  2. Tom Turner Post author

    I think Buddhism is the world religion with the strongest relationship to gardens and that its, equally strong, relationship with natural landscapes probably comes directly from Hindu beliefs and traditions. And, since you mention it, there is something puzzlingly Buddhist about my photo of Athelhampton.


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