The Garden Guide

Book: Fragments on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, 1816
Chapter: Fragment Xi. Beaudesert.

Beaudesert Red book

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EXTRACT FROM THE RED BOOK OF BEAUDESERT. CHARACTER AND SITUATION. To lay down a rational plan for the improvement of any place, we must begin by considering its character and situation. The very name of this place should have some influence on the mode of treating it. Great command of territory would of itself suggest, that a character of greatness, insomuch as relates to art, should accord with that degree of vastness which is the prerogative of nature only: at the same time, there is no error so common as the mistaking greatness of dimensions for greatness of character: and this is nowhere better exemplified than in the pictures of the date of Louis XIV., when a great general was represented in a great wig, with a great pair of jack-boots: the truth is, that great and small are only so by comparison. This fact it is the more necessary to establish, because it has been asserted, that everything at Beaudesert must be on a large scale, to correspond with the large scale of its domain; while I contend, that everything should be rather great than large. [Beaudesert Hall and Park, Staffordshire, was broken up and sold by the Earl of Anglesey in 1936]