The Garden Guide

Book: Fragments on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, 1816
Chapter: Fragment XxvIII. Containing Extracts From The Report On Woburn Abbey.

Approach from London to Woburn Abbey

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APPROACH FROM LONDON. Having marked on the ground, and also on the map, the general line, it is less necessary to describe it; but, as there is little difference in the length of the present and proposed lines, it may be proper to assign reasons for the alteration. The present approach enters through a part of the park, which can be made interesting only by planting all the ground that has been unfortunately cleared of wood; and when the road enters that part of the park, where a few large trees have been left, we perceive that they are too distant from each other, and in an unhealthy state, from the grove having been too hastily thinned. But the most objectionable parts of this approach are the unfavourable circumstances under which the house is first shewn. The first sketch [fig. 224] is a correct portrait of this scene; but, from the difficulty of representing a view down hill, the drawing does not shew the house so low as it appears in reality: it serves, however, to describe the following objections, exclusive of that which gives a bad first impression of the place, from shewing it below the eye. First. Part only of the south front is visible, which gives an idea of its being a small house. Secondly. The house is not backed by wood, but opposed to the lawn, which does not form a sufficient contrast to relieve it. Thirdly. The distant view, though extensive, is not appropriate; it is evidently beyond the boundary of the park, and may be as well seen from many parts of the public road. Fourthly. The road passes along the side of a sunk fence, and destroys all privacy in the south apartments, which are exposed to every person coming to the house. Fifthly, and lastly. The immediate and sharp descent near the house, increases the first impression made by its apparently low situation.