The Garden Guide

Book: Sketches and Hints on Landscape Gardening, 1795
Chapter: Chapter 5: Concerning park scenery

Wembly architectural design

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WEMBLY. The expedient of producing variety at Wembly, by buildings, is perhaps the most difficult, and requires the greatest attention; because one source of our admiration is, that in the neighbourhood of the metropolis a place should exist so perfectly secluded and detached from the "busy haunts of men:" we must, therefore, be particularly cautious that every building should appear to be an appendage or inmate of the place, and not a neighbour intruding on its privacy. From hence arose some difficulty in the style of building proper for the prospect on the hill: a very small one would have been inadequate to the purpose of containing such companies as may resort thither; as well as forming a dwelling house for those who should have the care of the prospect rooms, and the dairy; yet in building a large house, there was danger of making it appear to belong to some other person. A design has at length been made for such a building as is worthy of the situation, from whence a view is presented, of which it is very difficult for the pencil to give any just idea; yet it is here inserted, No. XIV. [Our figs. 31 and 32], for the sake of shewing the improvement of which it is capable, on the principles already enumerated, viz.- First. By collecting the wood into larger masses, and distinguishing the lawns in a broad masterly manner, without the confused frittering of too many single trees. Secondly. By the interesting line of road winding through the lawn. Thirdly. By the introduction of cattle, to enliven the scene; and, Lastly. By the appearance of a seat on the knoll; and a part of the house, with its proposed alterations, displaying its turrets and pinnacles amongst the trees. To the common observer, the beauties of Wembly may appear to need no improvement; but it is the duty of my profession to discover how native charms may be heightened by the assistance of taste: and that even beauty itself may be rendered more beautiful, this place will furnish a striking example.