Memorandum on the improvements to Windsor Great Park, c. 1791
The landscape of Windsor Great Park as it is seen today was largely created between 1746 and 1765, under the Rangership of William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland. The Duke’s nephew, King George III, employed Nathaniel Kent (1737-1810) to improve the conditions and running of the Great Park in 1791. Nathaniel Kent had studied Flemish husbandry during his early career as a diplomat in Brussels, and on his return to England in 1766 he was persuaded to abandon his career as a diplomat to become an agricultural adviser. His book, Hints to Gentlemen of Landed Property, published in 1775, which recommended the enclosure and drainage of land, and the rotation of crops, made Kent famous, and contributed to the agricultural revolution of the period.
This document lists recommendations for improving the ‘picteresque beauty’ of the Park by the removal of certain trees in the valley between Cooks Hills and at Snow Hill, to improve the views, with sketches illustrating Kent’s points. Although undated, it must have been written in 1791, for in November that year Kent wrote in his Journal that, having obtained the King’s approval, he had issued orders for the removal of the trees he had identified near Cooks Hills, ‘that the full effect of these Alterations may be at once seen, and afford a fair sample of an Hundred other similar improvements’.
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