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.

Landscape park

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THE PARK. So natural is the partiality for extent or greatness of dimensions, that I have constantly been asked, How large is such a park? or, How many miles is it round? And since I visited Woburn, everybody talks to me concerning the length of the park-wall. I can only answer, that I do not estimate places by measurement; and that I never go round the extremity of a place to form an idea of its beauty. With respect to the boundary, whether it be a wall or a pale, my business is to hide it, and not to lead a drive so near as to display it. In this instance, the fashion of drives has, like all other fashions, passed from one extreme to the other. The ancient drive was in an avenue, through the middle of a park; the modern drive avoids the middle, and skirts round its border; and although two-thirds of the places I have visited, and to which I have suggested improvements, are surrounded by a belt and a drive, yet I must beg leave to repeat my protest against that sort of modern belt by which Mr. Brown's followers have brought disgrace on the genius and good taste of their master.