The Garden Guide

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

Tatton Park Red Book

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TATTON PARK. The situation of Tatton may be justly described as too splendid to be called interesting, and too vast to be deemed picturesque; yet it is altogether beautiful, in spite of that greatness which is rather the attribute of sublimity than of beauty. The mind is astonished and pleased at very extensive prospect, but it cannot be interested, except by those objects which strike the eye distinctly; and the scenery of Tatton is at present of a kind much beyond the pencil's power to imitate with effect: it is like the attempt to paint a giant by himself in a miniature picture. Perfection in landscape may be derived from various sources: if it is sublime, it may be wild, romantic, or greatly extensive: if beautiful, it may be comfortable, interesting, and graceful in all its parts; but there is no incongruity in blending these attributes, provided the natural situation continues to prevail; for this reason, no violation will be offered to the genius of Tatton Park, if we add to its splendour the amenity of interesting objects, and give to its vastness the elegance of comfort. It is not from the situation only that the character of Tatton derives its greatness. The command of adjoining property, the style and magnitude of the mansion (from the elegant design of Samuel Wyat, Esq.), and all its appendages, contribute to confer that degree of importance which ought here to be the leading object in every plan of improvement. Vastness of extent will no more constitute greatness of character in a park, than a vast pile of differently coloured building will constitute greatness of character in a house. A park, from its vast extent, may perhaps surprise, but it will not impress us with the character of greatness and importance, unless we are led to those parts where beauty is shewn to exist, with all its interest, amidst the boundless range of undivided property.