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home > Transactions > Volume 26 - 2020 > THE GRAND TOUR AND WALES: EXPLORING THE LINKS BETWEEN THE GRAND TOUR AND THE GARDEN EXPERIENCE OF WALES IN THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY

THE GRAND TOUR AND WALES: EXPLORING THE LINKS BETWEEN THE GRAND TOUR AND THE GARDEN EXPERIENCE OF WALES IN THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY

The paper discusses the influence of continental travel, often called the Grand Tour, on the design of formal gardens in Welsh gentry houses. Starting with two notable gardens of the seventeenth century, at Llanerch and Chirk, the essay describes the normal itinerary of the Grand Tour and its function as an educational experience for wealthy young men. These tourists were exposed to works of landscape art, especially in Italy, and Welsh patrons such as the Wynns of Wynnstay and the Talbots of Margam collected Italian works of art. When the Grand Tour ended with the French Revolution and the outbreak of the Napoleonic Wars, the men who returned from Italy to England and Wales continued the tradition of recreating Italian artistic taste and style in their own homes. A notable example is provided by Wynnstay, whose gardens were landscaped by ‘Capability’ Brown and much visited by a new class of tourists to north Wales. Another example is Margam in south Wales, with its famous Orangery inspired by Italian architecture, while houses at Baron Hill and Stackpole were similarly influenced by the landscapes and architecture seen during the Grand Tour.

 

 

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