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 House

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Tidworth, Thomas Ashton Smith, Esq. - Aug. 18. This gentleman is celebrated in the annals of sporting, and we visited his place chiefly with the view of seeing the plans of his stables and dog-kennels. We were, however, agreeably surprised to find an excellent house, and kitchen-garden, and a very intelligent young gardener, Mr. Saunders, the brother of our Bristol correspondent of that name. (IX. 425.) The steward of the estate here is Mr. Northeast, an enlightened and well-informed man, who has followed the same system of improving the cottages under his care, as Mr. Iveson has in those of the Tottenham Park estate. The house at Tidworth is situated in a bottom, with little pretensions to architectural style; but it is substantially built, and contains a good suite of apartments, large, lofty, and well lighted, and plainly, but comfortably, finished and furnished. The bedrooms are numerous, and, with the dressing-rooms, are also lofty and properly lighted and ventilated; and they are finished in a style perfectly consistent with that of the principal rooms. The furniture harmonises with the finishing; but, though both are plain, it must not be thought that the effect produced is meagre; for the doors of the public rooms are of mahogany, and the windows of plate glass. We examined the kitchen, fitted up by Ward of London; the contrivance for supplying all the bedrooms with hot water from the back of the kitchen fire, by Stothert of Bath; the bath room; the arrangements for watering the flower-garden and extinguishing fires, by Bramah; and the game, meat, and vegetable larders, fitted up with slate; all of which we found excellent. On the whole, this house is the most complete and comfortable which we have met with since we left London; it is spacious, and yet habitable; and everywhere substantially good, without the slightest appearance of glitter or gaudiness. One peculiarity in it, and in all the other buildings at Tidworth, is the use of Welsh slate, wherever it can be brought in. All the bedroom, and many of the sitting-room chimneypieces and hearths are formed of it; it is used for paving the passages and courtyards; for forming cisterns, troughs, mangers, and orange-tree boxes; for kitchen tables and sideboards; for a large mortar for culinary purposes; for tables and shelves in the dairy and larder; and for a variety of similar uses.