The Garden Guide

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

Hamilton Palace Grounds

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Nothing has been done to the grounds around the house, or at least nothing at all worthy of such a building. There are various systems on which the grounds of such a palace might be laid out. Supposing the ancient system were to be adopted, then the first step would be to form the main public roads leading to and from the palace into straight avenues for as many miles as they pass through the property, the palace forming the central object. Next we would turn the Clyde in such a manner as that the avenues should cross it on suitable bridges at right angles, immediately before arriving at the gates. The public roads would at a distance, to strangers driving along them, appear to terminate in magnificent gates leading to the palace; but the roads would, on arriving there, be turned so as to pass outside the park. Applying these principles to Hamilton Palace and Park, it would involve the alteration of a portion of the road from Glasgow, and a portion also of that from Lanark, according to the distance which the estate may extend in the direction of these places. It would also require a change being made in the course of the Clyde near the two places where the two gates to the park would be formed. The expense would, no doubt, be great; but we are not considering the expense, but only what would be suitable for the grounds of such palace, if they had been laid out in the days of Louis XIV. The approach from the gates through the park to the palace we would, of course, have a straight avenue 200 or 300 feet wide, with a triple row of trees on each side, at 100 ft. distance in the row, so as to allow them to take the magnificent forms which may be seen in the remains of the old lime tree avenue at Culross Abbey. The house we would surround on three sides with an extensive architectural flower-garden, including a large architectural conservatory) in the form of a Grecian temple, attached to the mansion by an arcade or colonnade; and from this garden an archway should lead over the carriage road (which would become necessary to connect the avenue from Glasgow with the avenue from Lanark) to pleasure-ground scenery and the kitchen-garden, to be situated between the palace and the village. Perhaps, the arrangement of the public road and the turning of the river, might require the palace to be seen obliquely, instead of at right angles, as is usual in such cases: but to this we should not object; for we consider the proposed change in the public road essential to any grand arrangement in either the ancient or the modern style.