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An Extraordinary Order: The Little Temple at Temple Newsam

Article Index

  1. An Extraordinary Order: The Little Temple at Temple Newsam
  2. Background
  3. Description
  4. Commentary: Context
  5. Commentary: Precedents from Architectural History
  6. Commentary: Purity of Style
  7. Commentary: Non-Architectural Models
  8. Designer: Possible Designers
  9. Designer: Other Hypotheses
  10. Designer: The Model Used
  11. Condition
  12. Conclusions
  13. Appendix 1
  14. Appendix 2
  15. References
  16. Illustrations
  17. All Pages

Appendix 2: Extract from Dorothy Stroud: “Capability Brown” (1975)

The year 1767 was also to see the appearance of a long and anonymous* poem entitled The Rise and Progress of the Present Taste in Planting Parks, Pleasure Grounds, Gardens, etc, from Henry the Eighth to King George III, dedicated to Charles 9th Viscount Irwin. Although the work at Temple Newsam was by this time well advanced, it is nevertheless puzzling that Lord Irwin, who was not an outstanding public figure, should have been the object of this tribute. The poem itself is not without merit, but its particular interest in the present context lies in its references both to the changes at Temple Newsam and to three of Brown’s other recent works. Of Temple Newsam it says:

...you, my Lord, at Temple Newsam find,
The charms of Nature gracefully combin'd,
Sweet waving hills, with wood and verdure crown'd,
And winding vales, where murmuring streams resound:
Slopes fring'd with Oaks which gradually die away,
And all around romantic scenes display.
Delighted still along the Park we rove,
Vary'd with Hill and Dale, with Wood and Grove:
O'er velvet Lawns what noble prospect rise,
Fair as the scenes, that Ruben's hand supplies.
But when the Lake shall these sweet Groves adorn
And light expanding like the eye of Morn
Reflect whate'er above its surface rise,
The Hills, the Rocks, the Woods, and varying Skies.
Then will the wild and beautiful combine
And Taste and Beauty grace your whole Design.

Of Brown’s work in general he was equally effusive, likening him to a painter of living scenes, comparable to the great masters:

At Blenheim, Croome and Caversham we trace
Salvator's wildness, Claude's enlivening grace,
Cascades and Lakes as fine as Risdale drew
While Nature's vary'd in each charming view.
To paint his works wou'd Poussin's Powers require,
Milton's sublimity and Dryden's fire.
Born to Grace Nature, and her works complete
With all that's beautiful, sublime and great!
For him each Muse enwreathes the Laurel Crown,
And consecrates to Fame immortal Brown.

[* now thought, by Jane Brown, to be by Sidney Swinney FRS]