The Garden Guide

Book: Fragments on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, 1816
Chapter: Fragment Ix. Concerning Windows.

Character of windows

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The greatest improvement in this old mansion has been effected, by adopting, in the south and east fronts, a style of window of the same date, though of a different form from those of the west front. The latter were too small in the apertures to be comfortable, while those added to the south front, glazed with plate-glass, are more cheerful within, and more characteristic on the outside than any modern bow with three sash-windows could have been made*. *[There is a circumstance relative to windows which is seldom attended to, and which has never been mentioned in books of architecture, viz., the situation of the bar, which is too apt to cross the eye, and injure the view, or landscape. This bar ought never to be more than four feet nine inches, nor less than four feet six inches from the floor; so that a person in the middle of the room may be able to see under the bar when sitting, and over it when standing; otherwise, this bar will form an unpleasing line, crossing the sight in the exact range of the horizon, and obliging the spectator to raise or stoop his head. If it can be entirely omitted, the scenery will be improved; but if the bar be preferred, the best position of it may be calculated at four feet six from the floor, and the glass may be continued to any depth below, not more than two feet and a half from the floor; otherwise, persons sitting will not have sufficient sight of the ground, and the view will consist, as in many old houses, of sky and the tops of trees.]