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1674.—Plan of Buckhurst House, Sussex., in Buckhurst, Withyham, Sussex, England more
A plan of a sixteenth-century mansion, demolished it seems in the eighteenth century. The text does not seem to explain the numbers on the plan; presumably the woodcut was made for some earlier publication and reused here, as was then common.
As presenting, generally, a notion of the plan of Elizabethan mansions of the first rank, Buckhurst House, Sussex (Fig. 1674), may be usefully studied. This was built about 1560 by the author of the glorious poetical Induction to the Mirror for Magistrates Lord Buckhurst, afterwards Lord Treasurer and Earl of Dorset. We regret to say, not only for the sake of the building, but for the associations connected with its author, that Buckhurst has long since disappeared. But magnificent as were these great mansions in their size, arrangement, and general aspect, there was little even in them that would harmonize with our notions of what the interiors should be to correspond with such exteriors.
Walpole justly observes, with regard to the mansions of the sixteenth century, “Space and vastness seem to have made their whole ideas of grandeur; the palaces of the memorable Countess of Shrewsbury are exactly in this style. The apartments are lofty and enormous, and they knew not how to furnish them. Pictures, had they had good ones, would have been lost in chambers of such height: tapestry, their chief moveable, was not commonly perfect enough to be real magnificence. Fretted ceilings, graceful mouldings of windows, and painted glass, the ornaments of the preceding age, were fallen into disuse. Immense lights [windows], composed of bad glass, in diamond panes, cast an air of poverty over their most costly apartments.” (p. 110)