The Garden Guide

Book: Fragments on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, 1816
Chapter: Fragment Xxxiv. Extracted From The Report Of Endsleigh, A Cottage On The Banks Of The Tamar, In Devonshire, By Permission Of His Grace The Duke Of Bedford. Situation And Character.

Endsleigh cottage garden

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THOSE who have sailed on this beautiful river, near Plymouth and Saltash, will figure to their minds one of those calm sequestered retreats, reflected on the smooth surface of a broad expanse of waters, very different from the river scenery of Endsleigh: to explain this difference it will be necessary to describe the Tamar. There are hardly two things in nature more contrasted, than a river, near its source, in a mountainous country, and the same river when its becomes navigable, and spreads itself into an estuary, like the Tamar at Plymouth. Nothing can be more delightful to those who have braved the storms of the ocean, than to sail between the romantic banks of the Tamar, whose echoing rocks often repeat the music, which, from pleasure boats, enlivens its peaceful surface; and a cottage, on the banks of the Tamar, will naturally suggest such tranquil scenery. Very different is that of Endsleigh. Here, solitude, embosomed in all the sublimity of umbrageous majesty, looks down on the infant river, struggling through its rocky channel, and hurrying onwards with all the impetuosity of ungoverned youth, till it becomes useful to mankind. This idea often occurred to me while contemplating the river on the spot. The Tamar, like all mountain streams, however it may amuse the eye with its frolic motion, by not being navigable, or passable, becomes a barrier, and seems to serve no other purpose than that of dividing the two counties of Devon and Cornwall; but, even in this apparently useless state, it is busy in collecting the "little streams which run among the mountains;" and, on tracing its progress, we find that it soon becomes more and more useful to man, till, at length, it is acknowledged as the great source of the harbour of Plymouth, to which England owes much of its glory and its commerce.