The Garden Guide

Book: Gardening tours by J.C. Loudon 1831-1842
Chapter: Northern England and Southern Scotland in 1841

Hamilton Palace

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Hamilton Palace is a noble pile of Roman architecture, standing in a park of 1700 acres. Through His Grace's kindness we were permitted to see the interior of the palace, which is admirably arranged, and superiorly finished and furnished. Among the ancient and curious furniture, are several cabinets, beds, chairs, tapestry, and other things, which belonged to Mary Queen of Scots; and many articles, also, which were once those of Marie Antoinette. Besides these, we saw such a profusion of articles, in china, glass, marble, silver, and gold, and of furniture ornamented with precious stones, as we should suppose is nowhere else to be found, either in Scotland or England, not even excepting Windsor Castle. The pictures are numerous, but we had only time to glance at them, and to notice "Daniel in the Lion's Den." The proportions of all the modern rooms are satisfactory, the chimney-pieces superb, and the carving of the mahogany doors and other fittings most elaborate. One of the most striking and imposing rooms, which is called the Tribune, is a lofty saloon, lighted from the ceiling, with rich projecting galleries, and forming a centre of communication to a suite of state-rooms. The hall and grand staircase were being finished with black marble, of which we saw numerous columns, but we had only an imperfect glance at them from the scaffolding. The exterior of the building is grand and imposing, from its magnitude, and the unity of architectural design which pervades every part of all the elevations; and the same character of grandeur being preserved within, and heightened by richness of finishing and furniture, becomes magnificence. The only fault that we could find with the interior of the house is one which may be made to every house that we have been in, not even excepting the royal palaces; that is, that there is no artistical connexion between the fenders and the grates, or between the fenders and the chimney jambs to which they belong. It would occupy too much room to enter into details, which, indeed, we have done in the Suburban Gardener, p. 125., but fig. 33. from that work shows a fender artistically united to the chimney jambs, and will be sufficient to give a general idea of what is meant by artistical connexion.