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Loudon, J. C. (John Claudius), 1783–1843

Remarks on certain improvements proposed for the park and grounds at Dovecot House, the property of Adam Dugdale Esqre : referring to a folio volume of delineations / by J.C. Loudon. London, March 1820.

London, 1820.
Physical Description:
1 v. (153 p.) : ill. ; 24 cm.
Rare Books and Manuscripts
SB471.L68 R46 1820
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Archives & Manuscripts
John Claudius Loudon (1783-1843) was an influential landscape designer and horticultural writer of the early 19th century. He made notable contributions to the theories of landscape architecture, city planning, and cemetery design.
Adam Dugdale (1771-1838), a successful cotton broker at Liverpool, purchased Dovecot House in 1819, and kept it as his principle residence until his death. Dovecot House was demolished by 1931, to make way for new development.
Inscribed: Frank Dugdale, Wroxall Abbey, 1876.
Bound in gilt-tooled calf; rebacked.
Manuscript remarks, by J.C. Loudon, concerning his proposed improvements for the park and grounds at Dovecot House (near Liverpool), the property of Adam Dugdale. The manuscript is written in pen and brown ink throughout, in Loudon's hand; it is signed at the end: J.C. Loudon, Bayswater House, 5th April 1820. The text is a tidy fair copy, with generous margins. The manuscript refers to a second volume, not present, containing drawings of the proposed improvements. The present volume does contain a handful of small diagrams within the text, drawn in pen and ink, with watercolor. The diagrams show technical details, including drainage, retaining walls, and patterns for the layout of bushes and trees. The title page also includes a vignette of Dovecot House, in watercolor. Following the title page is a comprehensive table of contents, in which all the proposed improvements are neatly outlined.
Loudon notes, on p. 23, that Dovecot House was "taken possesion of, by the present proprietor, in December 1819". Dugdale clearly bought the property with the intention for immediate improvements. In an opening section, Loudon enumerates the merits of the acquisition: "This is a highly valuable property, from its vicinity to Liverpool, excellent soil (a manly loam), compact form, and local situation extending along one of the most frequented roads in England. It appears from time immemorial to have been occupied as a farm, till a few years ago when a mansion house, offices, and other improvements, were undertaken with a view to give the whole the character of a gentleman's residence." On pages 20-23, Loudon summarizes the proposed improvements: "1. Strengthening & extending the Park character of the home scenery. 2. Giving brilliancy and more effect to the distance, by forming a circuitous lake or zone of water in the foreground. 3. Introducing a grander style, in the direction of the approach roads, and gates. 4. Introducing a more elegant and appropriate arrangement of the pleasure ground scenery at the house; and 5. Adding resources to the kitchen garden." The remainder of the volumes treats each of these topics in detail.
The text makes frequent reference to a folio volume of delineations, not present. The present location of the folio volume, if it has survived, is unknown. According to notes in the present text, the folio volume contained 4 plans, 3 of which will show alterations; 4 sets of views of the house and surrounding scenery, each set showing the view before and after alterations; 4 plans and elevations, concerning the proposed lodges and gates of the two approaches to Dovecot House; and 2 "plans, elevations, and sections of the conservatory, greenhouse, plant stove, and aviary proposed for the pleasure ground scenery".
Subject Terms:
Architecture, Domestic -- Great Britain.
Dovecot House (England)
Dugdale, Adam, 1771-1838.
Dugdale, Frank -- Ownership.
Landscape architecture -- Great Britain.
Landscape design -- Great Britain.
Landscape gardening -- Great Britain.
Loudon, J. C. (John Claudius), 1783-1843.
Ink drawings.

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