The Garden Guide

Book: Observations on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, 1803
Chapter: Chapter XIII. Ancient Mansions

Magdalen College Oxford, Repton's Red Book 2

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The love of novelty and variety, natural to man, is alone sufficient to account for the various styles of building with which our universities abound. When Grecian architecture was first introduced into this country, it was natural to adopt the new style, without considering how far its uses or general character might accord with the buildings to which it was applied; and, without recollecting the climate from whence it was imported, every other consideration was sacrificed, or made subservient to the external ornaments of Greece and Rome.* On a more exact inquiry, we shall find, it was not the habitable buildings of ancient Greece or Rome which formed our models: the splendid and magnificent remains of Athens, of Palmira, of Balbec, of P�stum, or of Rome herself, supply only temples with columns, entablatures, and porticos, but without windows or chimneys, or internal subdivisions by floors for apartments, indispensable in our English habitations, and even to our public buildings. *[Among the conveniences observable in Gothic colleges, may be mentioned the uninterrupted communication; this was formerly provided for by cloisters, that each member of the society might at all times, in all weather, walk under cover from his respective apartment to the hall, the chapel, the library, or to the apartment of any other member. Such cloisters also yielded a dry and airy walk when the uncertainty of our climate would otherwise have prevented that sort of moderate exercise necessary to the sedentary occupations of the learned.]