Port Eliot Red Book — Designs for Lord Eliot by Humphry Repton (1792-3)

Port Eliot Red Book: Assessment of the House and Church


The south front of the House being not more than fourscore feet distant from the Abbey, it is impossible to view it except in such perspective as must shew it very much foreshortened. For which reason, as will appear by the drawing, the west end of the house (the only containing two windows) is more conspicuous than the whole south front, in which there are twenty-six windows. It therefore becomes necessary that all those parts of the building which front towards the west should be enriched by such ornaments as may be in harmony with the Gothic character of the abbey. This improvement should not merely be confined to the new Cloister but should extend to the west end of the front, where the Venetian & Paladian window over it may be externally united into one handsome gothic window – which, by its magnitude, will extend the importance of the Abbey to the whole of the Mansion (notwithstanding those parts of it which are so much lower). Part of these may be hid by a plantation near the House and by ivy or creepers to cover the walls, but a large window is necessary on the principle, that a number of little parts will never constitute one great whole. If a few large parts, such as the window here mentioned, the Gateway, and another large window in the cloister, be properly introduced, they will extend the impression of greatness and overpower all the lesser parts of the building (in the same manner that the great west entrance of the Abbey takes off the attention from the smaller windows in the same massive pile).

For ease of reading, punctuation and capitalization have been modernized.