The Garden Guide

Book: Fragments on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, 1816
Chapter: Fragment V. On Dates Of Buildings.

Ancient forms with modern conveniences

Previous - Next

The change in customs, during three or four centuries, makes it very difficult to build such dwelling-houses, as shall contain all the conveniences which modern life requires, and, at the same time preserve the ancient forms we admire as picturesque: yet, the prevailing taste for the Gothic style must often be complied with; and, after all, there is not more absurdity in making a house look like a castle, or convent, than like the portico of a Grecian temple, applied to a square mass, which Mr. Price has not unaptly compared to a clamp of bricks: and so great is the difference of opinion betwixt the admirers of Grecian and those of Gothic architecture, that an artist must adopt either, according to the wishes of the individual by whom he is consulted; happy if he can avoid the mixture of both in the same building; since there are few who possess sufficient taste to distinguish what is perfectly correct, and what is spurious in the two different styles; while those who have most power to indulge their taste, have generally had least leisure to study such minuti�. To this may, perhaps, be attributed the decline of good taste in a country, with the increase of its wealth from commercial speculation.