Sunday, February 04, 2007

Stowed away - 4 February 2007

The GrottoLeaving London languishing in lugubrious layers of low-lying fog we fled its folds for fields afar furnished with forty follies, forty busts and fifty statues, flung fearlessly, and thus fashionably, across the landscape by Lancelot (Capability) Brown.

Stowe Landscape Gardens are the remains of Capability Brown’s Palladian Bridgefirst major commission and the size, number and scope of the temples, follies and monuments that he casually scattered across the landscape for the viewing pleasure of the select few on the Duke of Buckingham’s guest list is quite astounding.

We had previously visited the Duke’s mansion, Gothic Templenow a school and although this was our third visit to the park it was the first occasion when we had the time to fully explore all the paths inside the ha-ha: the area the National Trust charges admission for, as well as the old Deer Park outside the boundaries.

Temple of Concord & VictoryThe wealth involved in building quite sizeable structures (some now lived in) purely to make a distant vista to impress one’s guests is incomprehensible.

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