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

Stoke Cottage

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A large, plain, unarchitectural-looking house is building on a site called Stoke Cottage, at a short distance from Stoke Place. We mention it because we could not help being surprised at the want of architectural taste which it displayed, the more remarkable, because there appeared to be no want of workmen or of materials. There are three classes of persons who build or plant: those who have taste enough to form their own designs; those who have little taste, but employ artists; and those who are without taste, and who concoct their plans with working mechanics, or some other persons in their employ. Three fourths of all the building and gardening done in the country is executed in this last manner; and hence it is that we despair of any very great improvement in matters of taste till a knowledge of its principles shall become generally diffused: till gardeners shall understand the principles of design in gardening, as well as they now do those of culture; till masons, bricklayers, and carpenters shall be as familiar with the composition of forms and lines, as they now are with the cutting and fitting of stones, or the trussing of roofs; and, finally, till masters and mistresses, and the whole mass of society, understand the general principles of composition, both in architecture and landscape.