Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-77c89778f8-rkxrd Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-07-20T22:49:18.226Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

8 - Nuneham Courtenay

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 May 2024

Get access

Summary

Nuneham Courtenay, some five miles south-east of Oxford, was and still is an exceptional garden because of its several facets. The two principal features are the flower garden and ‘Capability’ Brown's landscaping, but there are echoes of other gardens together with an all-important cultural context that is unique. The river Thames was a principal attraction in the landscape. The owner was the 1st Earl Harcourt, who inherited the seat at Stanton Harcourt, also in Oxfordshire, on low-lying land without much of an external view. This estate had a particular resonance because Alexander Pope had translated the fifth book of the Iliad, which earned him a fortune, in the tower in 17181 (Fig 8.1), but by 1755 the house was becoming dilapidated, and the earl decided to move to Nuneham (originally Newnham) and build what his wife, somewhat in dismay, dubbed a villa rather than a seat. Villas, as conceived by Palladio, had found ample expression at Chiswick and Marble Hill plus Pope's own villa on the Twickenham stretch of the Thames, and perhaps Pope's association with Stanton Harcourt had suggested the idea of a villa to the earl, sited this time on a significant hill above the river. There were extensive views from the house and a magical view of it from the river, as many prints and other depictions attest.

It is particularly from prints that we can chart the progress of changes and developments in the grounds and gauge the cultural approach and associations. The late Mavis Batey made a special study of the site, based on the Harcourt papers in the Bodleian Library, and I am indebted to her work. There is a clear distinction between the approach of the 1st Earl (1714–77) and his son Viscount Nuneham (1736–1809) who succeeded to the title of 2nd Earl Harcourt on his father's death. Both were forward-thinking about landscaping, but it was the 2nd Earl rather than his father who brought radical new ideas to garden design and was responsive to general movements such as the Picturesque.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2024

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

  • Nuneham Courtenay
  • Michael Symes
  • Book: Prints and the Landscape Garden
  • Online publication: 15 May 2024
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781739822972.009
Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

  • Nuneham Courtenay
  • Michael Symes
  • Book: Prints and the Landscape Garden
  • Online publication: 15 May 2024
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781739822972.009
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Nuneham Courtenay
  • Michael Symes
  • Book: Prints and the Landscape Garden
  • Online publication: 15 May 2024
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781739822972.009
Available formats
×