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.

Imitation of a river landscape

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"My opinion only goes to the completion of Brown's idea, to imitate nature in the form of a large river, and disguise the art by which this is effected. I will suppose that a large river has always passed through the valley, and, like many large rivers, that it was not originally navigable, but that by art it has been made so to a certain spot, and that near this spot the house was built; under such circumstances a bridge would naturally be placed where rocks present a foundation, and to this bridge, and no further, we may imagine the water navigable. The bed of the river being dug so deep as to bring all the water below the bridge to the same level, the house would stand high above the water, instead of appearing on the same level as it does at present.* The shape of the water should be made gradually to swell into the broad river; but as there will then be a disproportion between the channel near the bridge and the broadest part of the river, this might be accounted for by a channel dug near the group of elms, and thus the house would seem to stand on a broad promontory, formed by the conflux of two different streams." *[This, in 1814, was completed, and the effect produced exceeds the promise, or any representation made by the drawings. From the ground near the house, there was a fall of only five feet to the surface of the water; that surface has been lowered thirteen feet.]