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

Stourhead drive

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The drive at Stourhead, which is said to be six miles in extent, displays some fine woods and extensive prospects; but the ascents are too steep to be enjoyed by those who, like us, travel with only one horse. Were the rule of two inches in six feet to be adopted, as a maximum of steepness in all roads and walks whatever, public and private, no objections could be made. The table-land on which the tower stands having been gained, the terrace drive there, which is three miles in length, and nearly level, and covered with soft turf, is one of the finest things of the kind in the kingdom. The view extends over many miles, and into several counties. One of the finest features about any extensive place which is hilly, or contains a high shall, such as Stourhead or High Clere, is a smooth road which shall ascend almost insensibly, and by a beautiful route to the top of the hill, and descend again equally agreeably by a different road. There is no hill that exists in which this effect may not be accomplished; and of this the ascent and descent of the Simplon is a standing proof.