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

Port Eliot Red Book: Thoughts on the Park


The difficulty of defending young plantations against deer, and the unsightly appearance of lofty fences, makes it almost impossible to introduce deer immediately into the grounds at Port Eliot; but an ample park to be fed by sheep is not therefore less advisable.

The number of small inclosures, the steepness of the hills, and the difficulties arising from inaccessible Cornish hedges prevented my gaining so perfect a knowledge of every field as to determine with precision the actual boundary of the park in all directions or the most convenient mode of subdividing it. The plantations shewn on the map are so disposed that they will have the effect of amply clothing the summits of the hills, uniting together into great masses, although they really are placed at considerable distances from each other.

In the general shape of the land of that part of Cornwall which I have visited, the valleys are very narrow in proportion to the hills, except where a tide river flows through the valley; but the small rivulets – like the three at Port Eliot – take their course through deep glens, rather than valleys, and some of these are excellent situations for trees considered as timber. In point of beauty, however, it is evident that ten acres of wood on the summit of a hill will be more important than a hundred acres lost and buried in these narrow valleys.

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