The Garden Guide

Book: Sketches and Hints on Landscape Gardening, 1795
Chapter: Chapter 1: Concerning different characters and situations

Brandsbury Red Book

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BRANDSBURY. Is situated on a broad swelling hill, the ground gently falling from the house (which looks on rich distances) in almost every direction. Except a very narrow slip of plantation to the north, two large elms near the house, and a few in hedge rows at a distance, the spot is destitute of trees: the first object, therefore, must be to shelter the house by home shrubberies; as on land of such value extensive plantations would be an unpardonable want of economy. No general plan of embellishment can, perhaps, be devised which is more eligible than that so often adopted by Mr. Brown, viz., to surround a paddock with a fence, inclosing a shrubbery and gravel walk round the premises: this idea was happily executed by him at Mr. Drummond's delightful place near Stanmore; but as an attempt has been made* to follow the same plan at Brandsbury, without considering the difference of the two situations, I shall beg leave to explain myself by the following sections and remarks.

*[The house was altered under the direction of a gentleman whose long experience in building has deservedly placed him high as an architect, and for whose abilities I have the greatest respect; although, in this instance, I did not adopt his ideas. Every one seems to imagine that the art of laying out ground is within a very small compass, and indeed I once thought so myself; but I have found by long experience, that the closest application, and, I may add, the enthusiastic partiality of a whole life spent in the pursuit, is barely sufficient to qualify the artist for this profession. It is, therefore, no more an impeachment of a person's taste, to suppose him incompetent to the embellishment of ground, without having previously studied the art, than to suppose him unable to build a house without having studied architecture.]

[In 1784 Brandsbury in Middlesex was passed Sir John Lade to Mr. Foster, a coach-maker in Long-acre. In 1788 Brandsbury was purchased by Dame Sarah, wife of Sir Thomas Salusbury. The estate of about 160 acres was near the Kilburn Turnpike. - TT]