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

Fonthill Abbey Garden

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Fonthill Abbey; H. Bennett, Esq.-This place, independently of the historical associations connected with the name of Beckford, well deserves to be visited by every person who takes an interest respecting, or is desirous of improving himself in, landscape-gardening; because it is the only one in England, in which he will find the most perfect unity of character preserved throughout the grounds, and that character one belonging to an age long since past in this country, and only now to be found in certain mountainous region of Catholic countries on the Continent. The chief object of Mr. Beckford seems to have been to impress this character on all the great leading features of Fonthill, and only to have modern artificial scenes, as occasional episodes. Hence there is not a single gravel walk or made road about the place; nor in the immediate vicinity of the house is there an exotic tree, shrub, or flower, save an apricot and a fig tree, planted against the south side of the grand entrance, as we may suppose by some monk who had brought the seeds of these fruits from some Italian or Swiss monastery.