The Garden Guide

Book: Fragments on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, 1816
Chapter: Fragment I. On Rural Architecture.

Models for Gothic architecture

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If the Gothic character be preferred, the architect must seek for his models among the fragments of his own country: but again, unfortunately, instead of houses, he can only have recourse to castles, cathedrals, abbeys, and colleges; many of which have been so mutilated and disfigured by modern repairs, by converting castles into palaces, and changing convents into dwelling-houses, that pointed arches and battlements have become the leading features of modern Gothic buildings. The detail of parts is studied, but the character of the whole is overlooked. No attention is given to that bold and irregular outline, which constitutes the real basis and beauty of the Gothic character; where, instead of one uniform line of roof and front, some parts project, and others recede: but wherever the roof is visible over the battlements, it seems as if it rose to proclaim the triumph of art over science, or carpentry over architecture. The elevation D, represents one of these spruce villas, surrounded by spruce firs, attended by Lombardy poplars, profusely scattered over the face of the country. That at F, may be supposed the fragment of some ancient castle, or manor-house, repaired and restored to make it habitable; and that at E is something betwixt the two, which will be further noticed. The remaining part of this subject more peculiarly belongs to the landscape gardener, whose province it is to consider the effect of nature and art combined: let us examine the two different styles in the two landscapes in the next plate.