Posted by Bob WHitworth on August 10, 1998 at 10:36:51:
The Entrance to Sydney Tavern and Gardens has to boast of much respectability; and the tavern is a capacious and elegant erection.
SYDNEY-GARDENS is one of the most prominent, pleasing , and elegant features attached to the City of Bath. The hand of taste is visible in every direction of it; and the plants and trees exhibit the most beautiful luxuriance. Upon gala-nights, the music, singing, cascades, transparencies, fire-works, and superb illuminations, render these gardens very similar to Vauxhall. The Orchestra is close to the back of the Tavern, neatly arranged and elevated, with a large open space before it, well gravelled. The gradual ascent of the principal walk, that leads to the top of the gardens up to a half-circular stone pavillion, which is paved and covered in, with a seat round it, and supported by several stone pillars, upon a gala-night has a most brilliant effect, from the numerous variegated lamps with which it is ornamented. The walks are all well rolled and gravelled; and seats and places for refreshment are to be met with in various parts of the gardens. The view, when seated in the above pavillion down to the orchestra, across the arches covered with lamps, gives it a very captivating appearance. Upon those nights set apart for promenading only, a military band attends; and music also enlivens the scene, when public breakfasts are given. There are also several swings, adapted for the ladies; and others for gentlemen. Numerous covered-in boxes; and several alcoves formed with much botanical taste, grottos, &c. render this promenade highly attractive during the summer evenings. IN the most retired parts of the gardens one of these grottos, it appears, was once the happy meeting-place, and dedicated to the tender passion, with a sincerity and animation unrivalled, by one of the greatest geniuses that ever adorned this or any other country, but who is gone to that “bourne from whence no traveller returns,” following the superior, amiable, and affectionate object of his heart, who had also long been previously consigned to the icy tomb of death. The remembrance of the late RICHARD BRINSLEY SHERIDAN, Esq. and his wife, Miss Linley, (termed the syren and angel of the concerts at Bath,) must render this grotto a most interesting feature to every lover of talent, elegance, and virtue, and in which the following copy of verses were written by the above patriotic senator, and left for that lady’s perusal: --
Uncouth is this moss-covered grotto of stone,
And damp is the shade of this dew-dripping tree;
Yet I this rude grotto with rapture will own;
And willow, thy damps are refreshing to me.
In this is the grotto where DELIA reclin’d,
As late I in secret her confidence sought;
And this is the tree kept her safe from the wind
As blushing she heard the grave lesson I taught.
Then tell me, thou grotto of moss-covered stone,
And tell me, thou willow with leaves dripping dew,
Did DELIA seem vex’d when HORATIO was gone?
And did she confess her resentment to you?...
(this continues for about 10 more verses)
Upon the whole, SYDNEY-GARDENS must be viewed not only as a great ornament to Bath, but is another, among the numerous proofs of the great anxiety of the inhabitants to render the amusements of this elegant City, without a parallel in the kingdom! The Kennet and Avon Canal runs through the gardens, with two elegant cast-iron bridges thrown over it, after the manner of the Chinese; and the romantic and picturesque scenery, by which they are surrounded, is fascinating beyond measure. Great opposition, it seems, was originally made to the canal running through these gardens by the proprietor; but it gives such a variety to the walks, that its introduction is now viewed as a great addition. It would be a matter of some difficulty to point out a spot of ground so tastefully laid out as SYDNEY-GARDENS. Vauxhall, it is true, may boast of its superiority for brilliancy, and number of lamps, and vocal performers; but, in other respects, viewed as a garden, the competition would be perfectly ridiculous. The Labyrinth, shown here at three-pence each person, is an object of curiosity. The inducement to enter it is one of Merlin’s swings, which appears not only very prominent, but easy of access. However, it might puzzle any cunning person, if left to himself and without a clue, for six hours, to acquire the much wished for spot; and it is rather a difficult task when the explorer of the Labyrinth has the direction pointed out to him from a man stationed in the swing. The inns and outs necessary to be made, it is said, measure half a mile. When the swing is made, and the secret unravelled, the guardian of this sort of Fair Rosamond’s bower conveys the visitor once more into the public walks; the variety of which, that continually meet the eye of the promenader are truly attractive. A most delightful piece of ground, like a bowling green, enveloped with trees, and a small natural cascade from a spring, cannot be passed with indifference. The company, generally, are of the most respectable description; and upon some of the gala-nights, upwards of 4000 persons have paid for admission, which is 2s. 6d each. In fact, the most fastidious observer cannot find fault with SYDNEY-GARDENS, which have also another advantage to recommend them to the visitors of Bath, namely, in having a surrounding ride, for the accommodation of ladies and gentlemen on horseback, that commands beautiful and romantic views, and of being free from dust in the summer, and dirt in the winter. The terms of subscription for walking are for one month, each person, 4s.; for 3 months, 7s. 6d.; and the season, 10s.
If two in one family, each 7s 6d; if three or more, each 6s. Non-subscribers, for walking, 6d. each time. Nursery-maids with children in arms, one subscription. Gentlemen and families may be accommodated with elegant apartments at Sydney-House. The terms of subscription to the ride, one month, 2s. 6d. each person. Three months, 6s. Six months, 10s. The year, 15s. Non-subscribers
- Source? (nfm) Leanne S 12:11:56 8/10/98 (1)
- Sydney-Gardens Source Bob Whitworth 13:50:57 8/10/98 (0)
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