The Garden Guide

Book: Gardening tours by J.C. Loudon 1831-1842
Chapter: Middlesex, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Wilshire, Dorsetshire, Hampshire, Sussex, and Kent in the Summer of 1832

Bear Wood

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Bear Wood, John Walters, Esq. M.P.-Being in this neighbourhood in 1818, we had an opportunity of walking over these grounds shortly after they were purchased by the present owner. They then appeared to consist of about 300 acres of heathy waste, and about 100 acres of sloping ground covered with beech and oak trees. A small piece of water was forming on the side of the slope; the walls of the kitchen-garden were built, and the site of the intended house was pointed out to us. The place may now be considered as finished; and we must say, that it has afforded us more gratification than any other newly formed place that we have seen since we left London. We never before saw a residence laid out by Mr. Stuart; and we do think that he has here given evidence of his possessing very great taste and judgment. The taste which he has displayed in leading the walks through the grounds, so as to show them and the views of the adjacent country to the greatest advantage, is admirable; and the extent of these walks, within the space of about 400 acres, is nearly eight miles. The puny piece of water, most ridiculously placed on the side of a steep bank, he has extended to nearly 30 acres, by filling with it the whole of a valley; and other pieces of water have been formed, so as, in all, to cover about 40 acres. The shapes of these pieces of water, with one trifling exception, are excellent; and they are so disposed, and disguised by plantations, relatively to each other, that the difference of their levels is scarcely ever observed.