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

Taplow Court

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Taplow Court, Earl of Orkney. - This place is nobly situated; the house, with the pleasure-grounds being placed on the brow of a lofty bank of the Thames, and commanding a noble reach of that river, with an extensive prospect of the fertile and well-wooded country beyond. The ruins of an old church adjoining the house, and a yew tree of very great age on the summit of a mount, form fine objects. The exterior architecture of the house and offices has been begun to be improved in the old English manner. A number of old walls have been pulled down, and the scenery on the lawn thrown open. The effect is excellent. In a conservatory are some fine plants, bought at the sale at White Knights four years ago. Among others, there is a Magnolia fuscata 10 ft. high, and nearly 30 ft. in circumference. An Acacia lophantha, when we saw it, was ripening seeds. There is a terrace walk here, on the summit of the bank, about 300 ft. above the level of the river, nearly two miles in length; which, taken altogether, might be made one of the finest things of the kind in England, and probably in the world. Between this and the natural wood which skirts the base of the bank there is an admirable situation for an arboretum: but Lord Orkney is more fond of engineering than of gardening; in fact, he may be said to be devoted to the former, having a workshop close to the house, in which several engineers are constantly employed. The turning lathe in this shop is moved by a steam-engine of exquisite workmanship.