Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Stowe Gardens, Gothic

In case you thought I was biased against Modernism and Brutalist architecture, here is something a little different....
The Picturesque English Landscape Garden:
I've now started to look for literary references to Ugliness, so wherever I come across a building or place described as ugly I'll reference it here.

Amongst the 'classical' follies, arches, bridges and columns at Stowe one finds a Gothic inspired folly. It's described in Follies, Grottoes and Garden Buildings, "Gibb's Gothic Temple is doubtless the most striking building at Stowe. It is Ugly (even to aficionados), a hideous rusty brown colour, big intrusive and wonderful. It is triangular and has nothing to recommend it apart from its solidity and its leering self-confidence".
It certainly works better as an eyecatcher from across the lake, where the eye is tricked into believing it is a fully operating church on top of the hill.

Quote taken from Follies, Grottoes and Garden Buildings, (1999) Headley & Meulenkamp, London, Aurum Press, p136.

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