WYATT, James
(b. 1746, Burton Constable, d. 1813, Marlborough)

West façade

Dodington Park, Gloucestershire

Until the mid-eighteenth century, British architecture was wholly dominated by Palladianism. However, the supremacy of the Palladianism was on the wane in the second half of the century. The roughly simultaneous "discoveries" of both Greek Antiquity and the Middle Ages (the Gothic architecture) around the mid-eighteenth century brought with them a a basic, revolutionary change in historical perceptions of the time. When British architects and patrons now looked for a model for the design of their buildings, there was no longer a universally valid standard such as there had been in Palladianism up to the beginning of the eighteenth century. Now there were different styles of equal status from which one could choose.

Most country houses built in the second half of the eighteenth century were not archeologically accurate. A good example is Dodington Park, constructed in 1793-1818 by the multi-talented James Wyatt. Externally much had changed in comparison withPalladian country houses of the first half of the eighteenth century. All decoration is dispensed with, and the windows are frameless. A monumental hexastyle portico highlights the entrance façade. It stands directly on the ground there being no rusticated plinth floor, nor indeed mezzanine and attic. Since the house is no longer elevated above garden level by a plinth, the garden seems to be an extension of the drawing rooms.