Saturday, December 06, 2014


click photo to enlarge
I've often thought that the designers of the temples of classical antiquity would be horrified by the uses to which their designs were put during the Renaissance. I've seen Greek and Roman style porticos attached to decidedly secular buildings - banks, libraries, railway stations, theatres, even greenhouses. The eighteenth and nineteenth century architects and builders of England's grand country houses took enormous liberties with temple styling turning it to the main and subsidiary facades of their houses, featuring it in the stable blocks and orangeries, and using small "temples" as eyecatchers in the landscape, locations that enhanced the view and provided a destination for a short walk and, perhaps, a picnic.

Today's photograph shows the Rotunda at Croome Court, a Georgian country house in Worcestershire. This round type of building was commonly used during this period, being thought to derive from the two thousand year old Pantheon in Rome, a temple with a rotunda and an affixed portico. I've seen many rotundas in England serving, mainly, as mausoleums and eyecatchers. The latter use was the purpose of this example. It was built by either the landscape architect, Capability Brown, or the architect, Robert Adam. Both have their supporters; I lean towards the Adam. Croome Court's rotunda has, like the main house and the other buildings in the landscape, undergone sensitive restoration, and today it is the paying visitor, rather than owners of the house, who enjoy a stroll to its location on the summit of a low ridge, overlooking the nearby parkland.

photograph and text © T. Boughen

Camera: Nikon D5300
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 35mm (52mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f8
Shutter Speed: 1/250 sec
Exposure Compensation: -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On