The Garden Guide

Book: Fragments on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, 1816
Chapter: Fragment Xxi. From A Report Concerning Frome House, Dorsetshire.

Frome House, character

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About the date of Frome House, there prevailed, in England, a certain character of architecture, holding a middle station betwixt the baronial castle and the yeoman's habitation; it was the manor-house.* In modern times the habits of life are changed; wealth, from the success of industry or adventure, has frequently become possessed of such ancient mansions; and the rage for novelty has often destroyed all vestiges of ancient greatness of character, to introduce the reigning fashion for greatness of dimension. Hence we often see rooms, too large to be warmed, or lighted, or inhabited with comfort; and doors and windows too large to be opened; and sometimes a single house is displayed with a long line of rooms, in which there is not a corner, or recess, to sit in. Our ancestors, when they made large rooms, contrived bays and breaks in its uniform shape; but the modern saloon of (what is called perfect proportion) thirty-six by twenty-four feet, must be crammed with tables, and sofas, and instruments, to create some intricacy in this barn-like space. *[A most sumptuous specimen of this kind exists in Norfolk (Wolterton manor-house), and has been recently published by the Society of Antiquaries, from drawings by J. Adey Repton.]