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

Port Eliot Red Book: Character and Situation


In the modern rage of removing to a distance all those objects which were deemed appendages of the ancient style of gardening (such as terraces, lofty walls, almshouses, quadrangular courts &c), a mistaken idea has occasionally prevailed, viz., "that it is necessary the House should stand nearly in the centre of its park and detached from every surrounding object". This idea which I have elsewhere* ventured to pronounce as the effect of false taste has, in many parts of the kingdom, destroyed towns and depopulated villages to give solitary importance to the insulate mansion.

The situation of Port Eliot is apparently oppressed by the neighbourhood of St. Germains, and the stupendous Cathedral – whose magnitude renders it impossible to be removed, while its more lofty situation prevents its being made subordinate to the Mansion. Under such circumstances, instead of shrinking from this powerful neighbour, it will rather be advisable to attempt such a union as may extend the influence of this venerable pile to every part of the Mansion and form of the two objects, now at variance with each other, one picturesque and magnificent whole.

* Remarks on Culford a Seat of Marquis Cornwallis &c.

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