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

Cliveden House

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Cliefden House, Sir George Warrender. - The house was burned down many years ago, but is now rebuilding. We suppose the elevation is nearly a fac simile of the house that was burned down, otherwise we are at a loss to conceive how a modern architect could introduce half columns and an architrave in the manner here done in the basement story. The original terrace, which remained uninjured, is a noble object, upwards of 25 ft. high, and 363 ft. long: it commands extensive views of the Thames and of the country beyond, and descends, by a magnificent double flight of steps, to a lawn; intended, as Mr. Dodds, the gardener, informed us, to be laid out as a flower-garden. If so, as it is at a considerable distance from the eye, and quite beneath it, it ought to be a flower-garden of dwarf-growing select shrubs. The flower-garden of herbaceous flowers might be in front of the conservatory. Perhaps it will be thought that the latter space is hardly ample enough for such a purpose; but let it be kept in the very highest order, and it will be found to produce more beauty, and to give more satisfaction to the owner, than one ten times the size kept as such gardens generally are. The entrance front is, very properly, on the opposite side to the terrace front: it is approached by a straight avenue, passing over table land, and entering the court of honour through iron gates. To the right and left are advancing wings, and high walls enclosing the old kitchen-garden and offices on the one hand, and the flower-garden and conservatory on the other. The place is in a state of regeneration, therefore we shall say very little about it; but we cannot let pass the shed-like conservatory which forms one wing of the house, as seen from the terraced front: it is mean, and altogether unarchitectural. Mr. Dodds is a great amateur of calceolarias, and has raised some new and valuable varieties. He also showed us a new species of nasturtium, raised from seeds obtained from Italy, quite distinct from any which we had before seen. [Editor's Note: Cliefden House was renamed Cliveden House, built in 1849 - 51 designed by Sir Charles Barry, a quarter of a century after Loudon's visit]