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.

Longleat and Chatsworth rivers

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"The second opinion is, that the brook should pass through the valley in a natural channel, instead of being checked by so many different dams, to form so many different pools: the objection to this arises from the supply not being sufficient. Where a rattling, turbulent mountain-stream passes through a rocky valley, like the Derwent at Chatsworth, perhaps Mr. Brown was wrong in checking its noisy course, to produce the glassy surface of a slow moving river; but, as the quantity of water at Longleate might pass through a narrow channel, or watercourse, far beneath the dignity of the place, it ought rather to be carried in a culvert under ground, than be shewn at all in the humble shape and scanty quantity that nature has allotted: yet it was a stream of sufficient magnitude for the purposes of art, in the ancient style of gardening, when art was boldly avowed; and this stream supplied the fountains, and cascades, and basins, which then constituted the magnificent but artificial scenery near the house. To this may be added, that it supplied the mill, a very important object in old times; and this mill, Leate, gave its name to the place, now called Longleate."