The Garden Guide

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

Uppark Red Book

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EXTRACT FROM THE REPORT OF UPPARK, THE SEAT OF SIR HARRY FEATHERSTONE, BART. SITUATION AND CHARACTER. BEFORE a rational plan for the improvement of any place can be laid down, it is always necessary to consider its natural situation, and the character which has been given to it by art. The former, at Uppark, is truly magnificent, being on the summit of the south down range of hills; and when we consider the large masses of wood, the beautiful shapes and verdure of the lawns, with the distant and various views of sea and land, it is difficult to adapt any style of building to such a spot, that may correspond with the great scale of the place. Of this difficulty the architect seems to have been aware, by the degree of irregularity which was originally adopted in the position of the outbuildings: this is evident, both from the map, and from an old picture on the staircase, wherein the stables and other offices appear to have been placed, not at right angles, but converging from the entrance front. His reasons for so doing seem to have been well founded. He knew that a correct correspondence of parts in a building tends to diminish its importance; that the Roman style, which was then introduced into England, would not admit of such irregularity; and all that could be done was, to spread out the detached buildings, which produced an appearance of irregularity, when seen from a distance, while the effect of symmetry was preserved in the entrance-court, where the lines converging instead of being parallel, increased the apparent length of perspective*. *[An example of this may be observed in George-street, as viewed from the end of Hanover-square.] [Uppark is a 17th-century house in South Harting, Petersfield, West Sussex, England, now a property of the UK National Trust. The mansion was burned in 1989 and re-opened in 1995. TT]