The Garden Guide

Book: The Principles of Landscape Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 4: Private and Public Landscape Gardens

Public parks, or equestrian promenades

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1598. Public parks, or equestrian promenades, are valuable appendages to large cities. Extent and a free air are the principal requisites, and the roads should be arranged so as to produce few intersections; but at the same time so as carriages may make either the tour of the whole scene, or adopt a shorter tour at pleasure. In the course of long roads, there ought to be occasional bays or side expansions, to admit of carriages separating from the course, halting, or turning. Where such promenades are very extensive, they should be furnished with places of accommodation and refreshment, both for men and horses; and this is a valuable part of their arrangement for occasional visitors from a distance, or in hired vehicles. Our continental neighbours have hitherto greatly excelled us in this department of gardening; almost every town of consequence having its promenades for the citizens a cheval and also au pied. Till the commencement of the nineteenth century, Hyde Park, London, and a spot called the Meadows, near Edinburgh, were the only equestrian gardens in Britain; but in 1810 the Regent's Park was commenced from a suggestion of William Fordyce, Esq., the then Surveyor of Woods and Forests, and it has now become a scene worthy of the metropolis. Since that period a great many parks and pleasure-grounds have been laid out in different parts of the suburbs of the metropolis, and other gardens of a similar nature have been formed in various parts of Great Britain.