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

Port Eliot Red Book: Thoughts on the Water Approach


The convenience of water conveyance, the custom of visiting in pleasure boats – in short, the natural situation, and even the name of PORT ELIOT, all seem to justify great attention to the improvement of the place when considered from the river.

A beautiful approach by water is therefore not less necessary than one from the land side. Having stated the difficulty of obtaining the latter, it is perhaps an additional reason for extending the plans to an object so capable of improvement.

The present boat-house is well situated in point of convenience. It is at the nearest spot possible, without being seen, from the mansion, but it is certainly at present no ornament to the place. I have supposed the roof of this building to be made lower, and – as a boat house will always require to have some unsightly objects near it – I have supposed a certain quantity of yard-room surrounding a small dock. At one corner is a very small cottage or lodge which might be inhabited by the person who has the command of the boats and fishing tackle, and this might occasionally serve as a dressing room to the salt bath (which could be used in all states of the tide by the help of the dock gate). From this lodge, there is a covered passage to the hexagon porch, from whence the view into the opposite quarry, together with the general beauty of the scenery, would be wonderfully striking.

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