“Windsor you ought to visit, at once the Monarchs and the Muses Seats. You ought to see it, if it were only to interest you more and Sharpen your Taste for Popes Windsor Forest.
There is however, no End in visiting the Glories of England, in her Gentlemens Seats in the Country. The Gardens, the pleasure grounds, the ornamented Farms, the cultivation of the grounds, exceed every thing in Europe. Nevertheless, take this Truth along with your Admiration. The owners of these enchanting Scenes take little Satisfaction in them. Watering Places Horse Races &c have more Charms. These Paradises are Sometimes, though by their philosophical Proprietors, to be pretty Baubles fit to be played away at a Game of Cards. I visited many of these Masterpieces of Art, Taste and Expence. Paine’s Hill, the Wobourn Farm, the Lesscaus Hagley, The Marlborough Farm at Blenheim, the Seat of Lord Peters in Essex, Lord Edgcomes Seat by Plymouth and many others, And above all Stow the Seat of the Marquis of Buckingham. I was fascinated with Admiration: but in the End I was wearied disgusted, with the endless Repetition of Artificial Magnificence and Expence. The surface of this Earth, is not our permanent Abode, and however We may refine, decorate and polish it, can never give Us Satisfaction. All the Pleasures of Agriculture and Horticulture may be found on 100 Acres as well as upon 10,000.”
— John Adams writes to his grandson George Washington Adams, who is Britain with his father, on November 17 1815
(Photo above and in @1815now are by Gaz Williams)