Stowe in 1836
At Stowe, near Buckingham, is the seat of the Duke of Buckingham. The grounds were originally laid out in straight paths and avenues, and adorned with canals and fountains. Subsequent improvements have been made under the direction of Bridgman, Kent, and other artists and amateurs ; and the beauties of Stoke have been commemorated by Pope and West, who spent many festive hours with the then owner Lord Cobham. The grounds, when beheld from a distance, appear like a vast grove, interspersed with columns, obelisks, and towers. They are adorned with arches, pavilions, temples, a rotunda, a hermitage, a grotto, a lake, and a bridge. The temples are adorned with busts, under which are suitable inscriptions. The house was originally built by Peter Temple, Esq., in the reign of Elizabeth; it was rebuilt by Sir Richard Temple, who died in 1697, and has been enlarged and improved since. The whole front extends 916 ft., the central part 454. This mansion. contains a valuable collection of paintings ; among them are the portraits of Martin Luther, by Holbein ; Oliver Cromwell (said to be original), by Richardson ; Pope, by Hudson ; Charles I and his queen Henrietta, by Vandyke; Addison, by Kneller ; Lady Jane Gray, Camden the antiquary, and others. Population in 1831, 490.