The Garden Guide

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

Stanmore Red Book

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SECTION OF STANMORE. Where the natural shape of the ground is concave, as that at Stanmore; see [fig. 2,] nothing can be more desirable than to enrich the horizon by plantations on the highest ground, and to flood the lowest by a lake or river: in such a situation, the most pleasing scenes will be, within the pale, looking on the opposite rising bank fringed with trees, or occasionally catching distant views over or beyond the fence. On the contrary, if the natural shape be convex [see fig. 3], any fence crossing the declivity must intercept those distant views which an eminence should command, and which at Brandsbury are so rich and varied that nothing can justify their total exclusion. A walk round a paddock in such a situation, inclosed by a lofty fence, would be a continual source of mortification; as every step would excite a wish either to peep through, or look over, the pale of confinement.'-[See fig. 4.] Where all the surrounding country presents the most beautiful pasture ground, instead of excluding the vast herds of cattle which enliven the scene, I recommend that only a sufficient quantity of land round the house be inclosed, to shelter and screen the barns, stables, kitchen garden, offices, and other useful, but unpleasing, objects; and within this inclosure, though not containing more than ten or twelve acres, I propose to conduct walks through shrubberies, plantations, and small sequestered lawns, sometimes winding into rich internal scenery, and sometimes breaking out upon the most pleasing points for commanding distant prospects: at such places the pale may be sunk and concealed, while in others it will be so hid by plantation, that the twelve acres thus enclosed will appear considerably larger than the sixty acres originally intended to be surrounded by a park pale* [See fig. 5.]. *[When I had first the honour of being consulted on this subject, in 1789, the property annexed to the house consisted of little more than sixty acres: it has since been augmented, by several purchases, to so great an amount, that my plan, and indeed the house itself, are on too small a scale for the present size of the estate; which extends two miles in length from the toll-gate of Kilburn turnpike, and is therefore one of the largest landed properties within so short a distance of London.]-