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John Rocque, A Plan of the Gardens & View of the Buildings ... at Echa [i.e. Esher], Surrey

A Plan of the Gardens & View of the Buildings ... at Echa [i.e. Esher], Surrey, 1737

John Rocque (ca. 1704 - 1762)

RA Collection: Art

This engraving records not only William Kent's addition of wings to 'Wolsey's Tower' at Esher Place in a playful 'Gothick-Tudor' style for its new owner the Hon. Henry Pelham (1695?-1754) in about 1733, but also his newly-laid out landscape gardens there, which were later much admired, in particular by Horace Walpole, who wrote to George Montague in 1748: 'Esher I have seen twice and prefer it to all villas, even to Southcote's [at Woburn Farm]; Kent is Kentissime there.' The tranquility of Esher, as an ideal place of retirement in which to recuperate from the stress of politics, is immortalized in Pope's couplet ' ... Esher's peaceful Grove / (Where Kent and Nature vye for Pelham's love)', and by lines in Thomson's The Seasons extolling ' ... Claremont's terrassed height, and Esher's groves, / Where in the sweetest solitude, embraced / By the soft windings of the silent Mole, / From courts and senates Pelham finds repose.' Sadly, nothing of what may well have been Kent's finest creation as a landscape garden designer survives today, Esher Park estate and all its buildings (apart from Wolsey's Tower) having long since been buried by suburban development.

Object details

A Plan of the Gardens & View of the Buildings ... at Echa [i.e. Esher], Surrey
John Rocque (ca. 1704 - 1762)
T. Badeslade & J. Rocque, Vitruvius Brittanicus, volume the fourth, London 1739, .pl.[110/111]
Object type

456 mm x 625 mm

Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
This image is from a book

Vitruvius Brittanicus, Volume the Fourth. Being A Collection Of Plans, Elevations, and Perspective Views, Of` The Royal Palaces, Noblemen, and Gentlemens Seats, In Great Britain, Not Exhibited in any Collection of this nature hitherto published. Design'd By J. Badeslade and J. Rocque, &c. And Engraven by the Best Hands. - London:: [1739]

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