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to the buildings for sacred and educational purposes language of Mr. Loudon, who paid a second visit to connected with it: of these, the structure just described the gardens in 1831. “The first objects that met our is a notable example. But for our present purpose view were the dry Gothic bridge, and the embankment we shall only speak of this nobleman in respect to the leading to it, with a huge imitation of Stonehenge extraordinary park with which he has surrounded his beyond, and a pool above the level of the bridge residence. The manor
came to the first Earl of alongside of it, backed by a mass of castellated stabling. Shrewsbury early in the fifteenth century. There was Farther along the side of the valley, to the right of anciently a castle at Alton ; but it was destroyed in the bridge, is a range of architectural conservatories, the civil wars of the Commonwealth, and only a few with seven elegant glass domes, designed by Mr. ruins of it now remain on the banks of the river Abraham, and richly gilt. Farther on still, to the Churnet. The mansion itself is modern : it is a very right, and placed on a high and bold naked rock, is a irregular building, in the details of which the Decorated lofty Gothic tower or temple, on what is called ' Thomstyle has been brought to bear upon domestic construc-son's Rock,' consisting of several tiers of balconies, tion. The interior contains many splendid apartments round a central staircase and rooms : the exterior and galleries ; but the exterior bears a greater resem- ornaments numerous and resplendent with gilding. blance to the abbatial structures of the middle ages Near the base of the rock is a corkscrew fountain, of than to a private mansion of the nineteenth century. a peculiar description, which is amply supplied from an
But the gardens are the main object of attraction. adjoining pond. Behind, above, and beyond the range The late Mr. Loudon had opportunities of minutely of conservatories, are two lakes ; and beyond thein inspecting the whole arrangement; and from the wood is another conservatory, curiously ornamented. Below cuts which are given in his 'Encyclopædia of Garden- the main range of conservatories is a paved terrace ing,' it is evident that the whole place is as singular walk, with a Grecian temple at one end, and a second as a cursory glance indicates it to be. The mansion terrace, containing a second range of conservatories. stands on a piece of table land, fifty or sixty acres in The remainder of the valley, to the bottom, and on extent, and bounded on three sides by two valleys, the opposite side, displays such a labyrinth of terraces, which commence in a gentle hollow near the mansion, curious architectural walls, trellis-work arbours, vases, and lose themselves in a third deep valley, in the statues, stone stairs, wooden stairs, turf-stairs, paveopposite direction. The surrounding country is simi- ments, gravel and grass walks, ornamental buildings, larly diversified, and both hills and valleys are usually bridges, porticos, temples, pagodas, gates, iron railings, pasture-land, with very few inhabitants. Down to the parterres, jets, ponds, streams, seats, fountains, caves, year 1814, the site of the present mansion was occu- flower-baskets, waterfalls, rocks, cottages, trees, shrubs, pied by a farm-house; but in that year the late Earl beds of flowers, ivied walls, rock-work, shell-work, commenced a series of buildings and improvements, root-work, moss-houses, old trunks of trees, entire which have been continued with little interruption ever dead trees, &c., that it is utterly impossible for words since. The Earl was an amateur architect, and an to give any idea of the effect. There is one stair of amateur gardener: he wished to produce something a hundred steps; a cottage for a blind harper, as large which should differ from everything else'; and he seems as a farm-house; and an imitation cottage roof, formed to have realised that wish. He solicited advice from by sticking dormer windows and two chimneys, accomall quarters, but generally decided on some plan of his panied by patches of heathi to imitate thatch, on the
Mr. Loudon visited the place about the time of sloping surface of a large gray mass of solid rock.” the Earl's death, in 1827; and he speaks of it as being The sandstone rock, too, which protrudes in many
one of the most singular anomalies to be met with places, has been formed into caves, grottoes, caverns, among the country residences of Britain, or perhaps of and covered seats. “ It has even been carved into any other part of the world. An immense pile of build- figures : in one place we have Indian temples excaing, by way of house, with a magnificent conservatory vated in it, covered with hieroglyphics ; and in another and chapel, but with scarcely a habitable room ; a lofty a projecting rock is formed into a huge serpent, with prospect tower, not built on the highest part of the a spear-shaped iron tongue, and glass eyes! There ground; bridges without water underneath ; ponds and is a rustic prospect-tower over an Indian temple, cut lakes on the tops of the hills ; a quadrangular pile of out of the solid rock, on the highest point of the north stabling in the midst of the pleasure-ground; and what bank ; and in the lowest part of the valley there are may be said to have eclipsed, and still to eclipse, every- the foundation and two stories of an octagon pagoda. | thing elsema valley, naturally in a high degree romantic The pagoda was intended to be 88 feet high: it is with wood, water, and rocks, filled with works of the placed on an island, in the centre of a small pond, and highest degree of art in architecture and gardening."
was to have been approached by a Chinese bridge, The private approach-roads to Alton Towers, either richly ornamented.” from Cheadle or from Uttoxeter, are several miles in
Here we conclude. We began with homely pottery, ! length, conducted along the bottoms and sides of and terminate with fantastic landscape-gardening; but ! winding rocky valleys. The description of the approach it is only one among many instances of extremes being from the Uttoxeter road may as well be given in the at a mere visiting distance from each other.
THE PARKS AND GARDENS
Trutus may become so evidently true to us that we reading in a low and musical voice-what, we knew
England. Inside and lining the garden wall, and thus practice that shall never disappoint him—the practice protected from any sudden inroad from the “Row," of the continual study of external nature, for it shall or promenading up and down the broad walk, or give himself the health, bodily and mental, that he thickly covering the green lawn on the left, or grouped often loses while pining for the opportunity to secure picturesquely a little farther off, or scattered more and health to others ;- let the professional man, if successmore sparingly as the eye compassed a greater distance, ful, forget not that the heart is apt to harden and the we looked upon hundreds of fair women, arrayed in tastes to grow false amid material splendours; and colours sportive and brilliant and varied as the rain- that it is not to the uncultivated that the poet's lines bow, and which would have been almost as harmonious, apply with their greatest forcebut for the ugly black forms called gentlemen, that, in rainter's language, spotted the picture all over. And
A primrose on the river's brim
A yellow primrose was to him,what was the charm that arrested alike promenaders
And it was nothing more." and equestrians ? what but the lovely strains of Mozart's 'Magic Flute,' exquisitely performed by one of the Lastly; let those who have no occupation but to household regiments ? And this too, we thought, is spend the leisure and money fortune has placed at the people's ! Twice a week may they here enjoy one their disposal, try how well the first may be relieved of the highest of all human pleasures, and benefit by by occasionally sharing with the People the varied one of the highest of all those influences that tend to advantages afforded by our public places of resort ; spiritual culture--they may hear divine music, wor- and how well the other may be used by helping to thily rendered, and in a spot so congenial that we establish, wherever their social or pecuniary influence need only contrast it with the theatre, or with the may extend, similar places of resort for their less expensive and fashionable concert-room, to see that the favoured brethren. poorest of amateurs is not also in this matter one of It is cheering now to count up our places of popular the most unfortunate.
Battersea Park, it is true, is yet in the land of Pursuing our walk, we reached the bridge, where a good intentions; not a very solid ground we fear-nor new aspect of beauty wooed us. (Cut, No. 1.) The a place easy to find ; although a map of the district is waters of the Serpentine were dancing, every here and doubtless deposited in the recesses of the “Woods there, in long trails of light; the wide stretches of green and Forests ;” but Victoria Park (peculiarly an sward that encompass the river were lustrous with the artisan's and tradesman's park), is a realized fact ; and, new life that had been given by recent rains; the lofty as we shall presently show, a peculiarly interesting forest trees seemed to dilate to an unusual magnitude fact. The south and east thus provided for, we have their glorious bulk; white sails were gliding to and fro; on the north, the open country about Copenhagen while from boats with low picturesque awnings, the fields, where a new park is proposed to be founded at pleasant sound of uproarious laughter ascended at the very time we are writing; and, in case they should be intervals. As evening drew on, bands of youths and quite built over, the charming Hampstead-heath, and men gathered upon the water's edge, and gradually its neighbourhood extending nearly up to Regent's became the sole occupants of the place, for bathing Park; while on the west we have the cluster of Parks commenced. Again the thought occurred with renewed - happily called the “Lungs of London " — under force-and these health-giving, these truly manly the several names of St. James's Park, the Green enjoyments can be enjoyed by all, under circumstances Park, Hyde Park, and Kensington Gardens. With of beauty and fitness that the richest nobleman in the a gradual thinning out of London, therefore, a process land cannot in essentials surpass.
that is now constantly going on in the worst portionAnd Kensington Gardens forms but one of those the city-and with the embankment of the river in a priceless possessions of the people of London, which style worthy of its position, size, uses, and associations, we venture to think they do not yet sufficiently use or there will be a fair chance for the pure breeze of enjoy. And we convey no class reflection in those heaven, to penetrate to our streets and houses, and to words. We would rather ask, whose soul is large convey us a message and an invitation, now and then, enough to take in even the entire wealth of the from the open country beyond. smallest of landscapes on a purple summer's eve ? Before we proceed with what may be called the Grow as we will, its beauty will grow faster. Never several biographies of the parks, it may be useful to shall we be able to say—"Now I have it all.” So is indicate in a few words their common relations, story, it with each of the elements that serves for our spiritual and character. nurture. Let then the poor artisan forget awhile the Hyde Park, the Green and St. James's Parks, may weary struggles with adverse fortune, and respond to be regarded as forming part of an uninterrupted space the invitation which these public gardens make: be of open pleasure-ground. This is not so apparent will find himself, not more but less weary afterwards. now that they only touch with their angles, but it was Let the tradesman take advantage of his "slack" otherwise before the ground on which Apsley House days, to fill his heart with a renewed sense of those and Hamilton-place stand was filched from Hyde Park. things which business is not at all calculated to feed.
Even yet the isthmus which connects them, where Let the professional man, if unsuccessful, seek one Hyde Park-gate and the gate at the top of Consti