Character Areas Tour

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Poetry and Prose about the Gardens

Ha-Ha Restoration Project

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The Pebble Alcove

Stowe: The Elysian Fields

The Pebble Alcove
The Pebble Alcove is a small, rusticated building that shelters a curved bench offering a view north across the east extension of the Octagon Lake. It takes its name from the colored pebbles that decorate the interior. The most extensive decoration is a replica of Lord Cobham's coat of arms and his family motto Templa Quam Dilecta, or "how beautiful are thy temples."

The Alcove was in place by 1739 and was probably designed by William Kent, who was responsible for the other buildings in the Elysian Fields. Its façade resembles that of the central block of the Hermitage, which Kent had built some eight years previously, and which occupies a similar position on the shore of the Eleven-Acre Lake to the west.

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John D. Tatter, Birmingham-Southern College,