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

Tidworth dog kennels

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The dog-kennels are on the top of a hill, adjoining the well and steam-engine, and consist of three circular lodging-rooms; with a feeding-house at one end, and the huntsman's house at the other. All the buildings are thatched; and the lodging-rooms have ventilators in the summits of their conical roofs, and a circular bedstead in the centre of each room, and occupying the greater portion of it, for the dogs. These bedsteads, when we saw them, were covered with rye straw; the beds fold up in the centre like a lady's reticule, to admit of their being cleaned beneath. The cribs for retaining the straw are covered with tin, to prevent the dogs from gnawing them; and the whole bedstead is painted of a stone colour. The floors of these lodging-rooms are paved with brick, as are the square courtyards in the centre of which they stand. These yards are washed with water from a cock in one corner of each, even as often (as the huntsman, Mr. Burton, informed us) as twenty times in one day. Near the cock there is a slate cistern, from which the dogs drink. In one house were old hounds; and, in the other two, young ones, the males and females of the latter being kept separate. The feeding-house is separated from the lodging-houses by a house for showing hounds; and it has a trough, in which the food (a mixture of coarse porridge and minced horseflesh made into soup) is given to the hounds. The feeding-house, which is under the same roof as the show-house, has a small yard. The boiling-house is at a short distance, and contains a cistern of water, a large boiler, and places for mincing the horseflesh and making the porridge. On the whole, we could not help noticing the coincidence, in many points, between this plan for a dog-kennel and that given in our Encyc. of Cottage, Farm, and Villa Architecture, ᄎ 1945. The situations of both are on an eminence; in both the boundary fence is an open railing, through which the dogs, agreeably to Somerville's directions, can look over an extensive prospect; in both are contrivances for frequently washing the courtyards with water; and in both is a show-house. Our design (fig. 78.) we certainly consider handsomer than that at Tidworth, though not of more than equal merit in respect to plan. The stables form a quadrangle; the exterior of which is in sublimely bad taste, it being in horizontal panels, in imitation of a chest of drawers on a large scale. The interior is spacious and well ventilated, but it contains nothing particular in regard to plan. On the whole, we were much pleased with this place; though, like Tottenham Park, it is deficient in several points of high keeping: for example, there were deep edgings to the walks, and dug beds, and much too narrow turf verges to the walks, in the shrubbery. [Tidworth is south west of Ludgershall]