The Garden Guide

Book: Fragments on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, 1816
Chapter: Fragment Xxiv. Longleate, Wiltshire, A Seat Of The Marquis Of Bath.

Gothic architecture

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This mansion was built at the period when the Gothic character was giving place to the introduction of Roman and Grecian architecture; and although some would call the house Grecian, from its pilasters and entablatures, yet its general appearance is Gothic, from the bold square projection of the windows, and the varied outline of the roof, occasioned by the turrets and lofty chimneys, and the open-work enrichments. The eight towers in the roof are so placed as to occasion some confusion, or, rather, a certain degree of intricacy in perspective, from whatever point they are viewed; had they been placed at regular distances, the effect of grandeur in this building would have been weakened. To explain this, I must observe that symmetry, or an exact correspondence of parts, assists the eye in viewing and comprehending the whole object at once; but irregularity retards the progress of vision; and, from the difficulty of comprehending the whole, its magnitude increases on the imagination. (This subject is further explained in my first printed work, 'Sketches and Hints on Landscape Gardening.') [See p. 25 to p. 116.]