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5 ft. in diameter; Taxòdium distichum 50 ft. high, with a trunk 2} ft. in diameter; Plátanus orientalis 60 ft. high, with a head 70 ft. in diameter; A'lnus glutinosa incìsa 70 ft. high, with a regular conical head; Salix Russelliàna 80 ft. high, with a trunk 5 ft. in diameter; a tulip tree 70 ft. high, with a trunk 4 ft. in diameter; a very large Lucombe oak; and numerous elms from 80 to 100 ft. high. There are, besides, cedars, silver firs, spruces, Scotch pines, hollies, and various other trees of large size, of which we had not time to take notes. turning to Exeter, we observed in a cottage garden Phlòmis fruticosa 8 ft. high, with a stem 4 in. in diameter, which ripens seeds in abundance. Throughout the South of Devonshire the Phlòmis becomes a large and very ornamental shrub.
Sept. 24. — Killerton Park; Sir Thomas Dyke Acland, Bart., M.P. This place is situated on the side of a hill, which slopes gradually and beautifully down to a level country or broad valley on one side of the house, and on the other rises to a summit crowned with wood. Nothing can be more judiciously disposed than the trees on the lower part of the slope, and in the level valley. Immediately in front of the entrance to the house the surface contains very few trees, but at a short distance these commence, at first thinly scattered and sparingly grouped, and then increased in number till the groups unite into masses, and the masses are lost in one grand valley of wood. The surface of this wood is fully commanded by the eye from the house, and forms a grand and effective contrast to the rest of the place. As a contrast to this wood in front of the house, which is looked down upon, we have another behind and at each side to which we look up. Turning to the pleasure-ground side of the house, we have smooth glades between masses of rhododendrons and other finely tufted shrubs, which lead the eye up the trunks of the trees which form the venerable wood crowning the hill on the side of which the house stands. This hill to the right and left of the house affords many fine walks, commanding extensive prospects. Some of these walks, particularly the one leading to the chapel, are nearly level in regard to surface, but, as they follow the windings of the slope, they are exceedingly varied in regard to direction; and this, in our opinion, constitutes one of the finest descriptions of walk that can any where be made. There is much to admire at Killerton, both of natural feature and artificial treatment, for Sir Thomas Dyke Acland has an excellent taste in landscape-gardening. There are many fine old trees, the dimensions of which will be found in our Arboretum, including a remarkably large tulip tree close to the house : in 1834 it was 63 ft. high, with a thick trunk, and a very wide spreading head; and the trunk, we were informed, has since increased several inches in circumference. There are here some of the largest Lucombe oaks in the country, and, in short, very large specimens of most trees in cultivation half a century ago. In an architectural flower-garden we observed a very effective and economical imitation of stone flower-baskets. They are formed of paper-printers' blocks after they are no longer of any use to print from. These blocks are made of the best oak, square in shape, and when painted and sanded they bear a close resemblance to sculptured stone. All that they require is a framework in which to fix them as panels. The price is little more than that of old wood sold for fuel. These blocks are also well adapted for forming the panels to fixed garden benches, boundary parapets to architectural flower-gardens, and for various other garden purposes.
A very handsome Gothic chapel has lately been erected in the grounds from the design of C. R. Cockerell, Esq. It is situated at the extremity of the beautiful walk already mentioned, near the public road, so as to be convenient for the public who choose to attend, and on ground so far elevated as to form a fine object from various parts of the surrounding country. It stands on a terrace, and the principal approach to it is through an avenue of cypresses. The house is commodious, and rich in books and pictures ;
were particularly gratified with seeing the numerous very artistical landscapes and sketches made by Sir Thomas in different parts of Europe. There is no study whatever equal to that of sketching landscape, for giving a just taste in landscape-gardening. It is difficult to conceive how persons with minds little cultivated by the study of prints or pictures, and who have not sketched a good deal, can understand the value of breadth of light and shade, of connexion, of grouping, of symmetry, of contrast (the most important ingredient in all composition, whatever may be the line of art), and of a whole. Without this kind of knowledge all attempts at landscape-gardening must be little better than random work. Without this science of landscape, as it may be called, no person can give a sufficient reason for what he proposes, or foresee its result.
At the same time this knowledge alone is not sufficient : a knowledge of trees and their culture is equally requisite ; for otherwise a design may be made that cannot be carried into execution, or commonplace sameness may be the result, instead of arboricul
There is a good kitchen-garden, well cropped, and the fruit trees carefully trained. We noticed in particular some vines on the open wall trained horizontally, and bearing abundantly. The whole place was, and we were told at Exeter always is, in excellent order, for which much praise is due to Mr. Craggs, the
gardener, as well as to his enlightened and kind-hearted employer.
Silverton Park, the Earl of Egremont, is separated from Killerton by the river Culm; and the finely wooded hill which we have mentioned as forming the apex to the landscape of which Killerton House is the main feature, is the principal object in the view from the house at Silverton. This house is situated in an inner angle formed by the concurrence of two immense banks, on the site of an old mansion. The greater part of the new building is not yet finished. It is eminently classical, abounding in colonnades and porticoes, without a single vulgar feature externally; the interior we had not an opportunity of seeing. The appearance of the entrance front gave us the idea that the house was sunk much too low; but this impression is not made by the pleasure-ground fronts. As the whole place was undergoing a course of improvement, we could not judge what will be the ultimate effect.
Sept. 26. — Poltimore House, Lord Poltimore, is an extensive place, with a flat surface, and a house which appeared to us too low for the situation. There are ample space and scope for improvement in the neighbourhood of the house, and few situations are better adapted for an architectural garden. There is a fine lime tree avenue to the church.
Sept. 29.– Winslade House, Henry Porter, Esq., possesses naturally some fine features, and much has recently been done by art. There is a terraced garden in front of the house, which conducts by a succession of levels to a piece of water, along which there is a broad gravel walk, separated by an enriched parapet. The design and execution of the terrace-work and the parapet next the water are good, with the exception of some slight details. There is an excellent kitchen-garden; and, on the whole, the place is remarkably complete in every requisite for substantial and refined enjoyment. There is a rosary laid out and planted by Mr. Pince with great taste (of which he promised us a plan and list); and various rustic structures designed by Mrs. Porter. In the house are many rare and valuable articles of virtù, sculpture, pictures, books, &c., recently brought from Italy and Germany, more especially from Dresden; and, among some beautiful specimens of foreign birds, we observed the Bell bird of Mr. Waterton, its plumage beautifully preserved.
Sept. 26. to 29. — Heanton Park, near Torrington ; Lord Clinton. This is a place of great extent, and capable of very great improvement. The house is situated on an immense bank, with another immense bank facing it, about a mile distant, with a broad valley between, the whole or any part of which might be covered with water at very little expense, or might be laid down in meadow or covered with wood at
pleasure. This broad valley joins a narrow one with lofty banks covered with natural wood, the whole or any part of which might also be flooded. Every natural feature here is on a large scale, and the arts required are chiefly draining and planting, both of which, as far as they have been carried, evince good judgement. The masses of trees in the park were projected by Mr. Gilpin, and are judiciously placed. Various recent improvements have been devised by His Lordship and his intelligent gardener Mr. Cato; and we had the honour of staking out an approach above a mile in length. The house is not large, but it is well arranged, and, as far as a stranger can judge in a day or two, it cannot be better placed. In a shrubbery walk there is a living arbour, formed by Mr. Cato, of ash trees, in the manner recommended in our Volume for 1841, p. 312., which has succeeded admirably. The kitchen-garden and nursery grounds here, as well as the pleasure-ground, are kept in excellent order. The agriculture, like that of Devonshire generally, is very bad; but Lord Clinton is using every exertion to improve it, as hinted at in our Volume for 1842, p. 658. Lord Clinton, who has resided some time in Scotland, is well aware of the defects of the agriculture on his estate, but, with true benevolence, is unwilling to change any of his tenants, preferring to instruct them. For the latter purpose, he has encouraged the formation of an agricultural society, of which he is president; and the papers read at the meetings, when considered worthy of publication, are printed at His Lordship’s expense. His Lordship has also built a school and schoolmaster's house, and is improving the labourers' cottages and the farmhouses. In a word, he appears to be proceeding judiciously with all the more important improvements of which Heanton Satchville is susceptible.
Stevenstone, near Torrington, Lord Rolle, is a very old place, chiefly remarkable for very large trees, and for a boldly undulated surface. It is capable of immense improvement, in sequence of hollows that might be flooded with water, and eminences that require planting. The house is very old, though there is nothing worthy of notice in its architecture. It is low, occupying three sides of a long narrow court: the connecting side, or extreme end, containing the principal living-rooms; one side terminating in the offices and stables, and the other in the family chapel. The library, as a protection from fire, forms a detached building in the garden. There is a peculiarly quiet and melancholy expression about this place, which we think we can trace to its having little or no appearance of being inhabited, to the prevalence of grass, and the absence of gravel walks, especially of winding ones, and to the park being, as far as we remember, totally without young trees. Well-kept gravel
walks always give the idea of occupation; and young trees, with their protecting fences round them, seem to show that improvements are going on. A lodge has been recently built here, which ought to be noticed for the bad taste which it exhibits: not to speak of its architecture, which wants some characteristic features of the style, we shall merely mention that painted stags' heads are built into a rubble wall without any preparation, and that the Rolle arms are placed on the piers of the gates, not so as to front the public road, but edgewise towards it
. It is much to be regretted that proprietors in the country, when they do not employ a regular architect, do not submit their own, or their carpenter's designs to one. For two guineas, any London architect would have pointed out the exterior faults in the pitch of the roof, form of the windows and doors, and defects in the placing of the ornaments in the structure to which we allude; and the stags' heads and the arms, instead of being deformities as they now are, would have been appropriate ornaments : and all this, with the exception of the architect's fee, at no greater expense than has been incurred.
At Torrington we called at Mr. Fowler's, the author of the Thermosiphon, a pamphlet on heating by hot water on the siphon principle, reviewed in our Volume for 1829, p. 453. Mr. Fowler, who was a banker and bookseller, was too ill to be able to see us, and is since dead.
In going from Torrington to see the inclined plane on the Rolle Canal, we looked down upon Ware Gifford, Lord Fortescue, and on Cross House, Mrs. Stephens, both situated in a rich valley. The Rolle Canal, and the various works connected with it, must have greatly benefited Torrington and the neighbourhood, and they do honour to the memory of Lord Rolle.
We have now noticed most of the gentlemen's seats which we saw in Devonshire, very briefly and imperfectly, from having taken no notes, and from having delayed to put down our recollections before most of them had escaped from our memory. Their brevity, however, is perhaps an advantage, because, if they had been much longer, we could not have found room for them. Before closing this article we shall notice the general impressions made on us by the face of the country and its agriculture, and by the labourers' cottages.
Roads. — The greater part of Devonshire, more particularly of the south part, seemed very badly arranged in respect to parish roads. Owing to the small size of the fields the roads are far too numerous, and it is to the same cause that we must attribute their circuitous direction and their narrowness. We have already noticed the high hedge banks which accompany these roads, and prevent the traveller from seeing into the fields except when he comes to a gateway. We feel confident