The Garden Guide

Book: Fragments on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, 1816
Chapter: Fragment X. On Gothic Outline.

Stanage Park Red Book

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EXTRACTED FROM THE RED BOOK OF STANAGE PARK. SITUATION. BEFORE I speak of the character of Stanage Park, it will be proper to consider its situation with respect to the neighbouring scenery; especially as the opposite opinions of two gentlemen* in its vicinity have produced that controversy, in which I have endeavoured to become a moderator. When I compare the picturesque scenery of Downton Vale with the meagre efforts of art which are attributed to the school of Brown, I cannot wonder at the enthusiastic abhorrence which the author of "The Landscape" expresses for modern gardening: especially as few parts of the kingdom present more specimens of bad taste than the road from Ludlow to Worcester; in passing over which, I wrote the contents of this small volume. And, while I was writing, surrounded by plantations of firs, and larches, and Lombardy poplars, I saw new red houses, with all the fanciful apertures of Venetian and pseudo-Gothic windows, which disgust the traveller, who looks in vain for the picturesque shapes and harmonious tints of former times. *[So many years have now elapsed since the controversy betwixt Mr. Knight and Mr. Price, on the subject of landscape gardening, that it may not be improper to mention, that the former gentleman published in quarto, a poem, called "The Landscape," and the latter a work in octavo, on "The Picturesque," as distinct from the sublime and beautiful.] [Stanage Park is 3 miles east of Knighton, Powys and near Heartsease.]