Sunday, 14 December 2014

Badminton barns

The astronomer Thomas Wright was the first person to investigate the Milky Way and to speculate that feint nebulae were distant galaxies, was also a mathematician, instrument maker, garden designer and architect.He recognised that the earth and the human race are insignificant transitory parts of a vast universe.

"In this great Celestial Creation, the Catastrophe of a World, such as ours, or even the total Dissolution of a System of Worlds, may possibly be no more to the great Author of Nature, than the most common Accident in Life with us, and in all Probability such final and general DoomsDays may be as frequent there, as even Birth-Days or Mortality with us upon this Earth."

In the 1750's after most of Thomas Wright's scientific patrons had died, or lost interest, he worked as a full time designer. Astronomy's loss was Badminton's gain.

For 36 years Thomas Wright was employed at Badminton working on garden designs and architectural embellishments for the 'Great Proprietors', as the 4th and 5th Dukes of Beaufort were known. The 4th Duke who commissioned William Kent to embellish Badminton was also one of the first aristocrats to employ Canaletto in England. However it was the 4th Duchess Elizabeth who between 1750 and 1786 was the great supporter of Thomas Wright. The castellated barns that Thomas Wright designed at Badminton are among the most splendid eye-catchers enhancing the estate.

Tump Barn

Old Warren

Castle Barn

After his death in 1786,Thomas Wright was forgotten.