The Garden Guide

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

Modernizing an ancient house

Previous - Next

When additions or alterations are made to an old house, internal convenience and improvement should, certainly, be the first objects of consideration; yet the external appearance and character must not be neglected. This is a circumstance which our ancestors seem to have little regarded, for we frequently distinguish the dates of additions to buildings by the different styles of architecture; and hence it often happens, that a large old house consists of discordant parts mixed together, without any attempt at unity either in date or character of building. This was of less consequence, when each front, surrounded by its court, or parterre, became a separate and entire object; but since modern gardening, by removing those separations, has enabled us to view a house at the angle, and at once to see two fronts in perspective, we become disgusted by any want of unity in the design.