Search - List of Books by Batty Langley

Batty Langley (Twickenham, Middlesex, baptised 14 September 1696 – London 1751) was an English garden designer, prolific writer and freemason who produced a number of engraved designs for "Gothick" structures, summerhouses and garden seats in the years before the mid-18th century.

The eccentric landscape designer, who gave some of his numerous children names like Euclid, Vitruvius and Archimedes, even attempted to "improve" Gothic forms by giving them classical proportions.

He was the son of a jobbing gardener of Twickenham, and bore the name of David Batty, a patron of his father's. He inherited some of his father's clients in Twickenham, then a village of suburban villas within easy reach of London by a pleasant water journey on the Thames. An early client was Thomas Vernon of Twickenham Park.

For the Palladian house built at Twickenham by James Johnston in 1710 (later "Orleans House", demolished 1926), Langley, probably on his own endeavor, prepared and published a garden plan, which offered an encyclopedia of the garden features that were swiftly becoming obsolete by the time the plan (illustration, right) was published in Langley's A Sure Method of Improving Estates (1728): here are several mazes, a "wilderness" with many tortuous path-turnings, cabinets de verdure cut into dense woodland, formal stretches of canal and formally-shaped basins of water, some with central fountains, a central allée of trees leading to an exedra. His New Principles of Gardening, 1728 included designs for mazes, a feature he could never quite leave behind.

Batty Langley is best known for one of his confident self-promotions, Ancient Architecture Restored published in 1742 and reissued in 1747 as Gothic Architecture, improved by Rules and Proportions, a bit of cockscombry that thoroughly irritated Horace Walpole, whose Gothick villa at Twickenham, Strawberry Hill, gave impetus to the stirrings of the Gothic Revival:

All that his books achieved, has been to teach carpenters to massacre that venerable species, and to give occasion to those who know nothing of the matter, and who mistake his clumsy efforts for real imitations, to censure the productions of our ancestors, whose bold and beautiful fabrics Sir Christopher Wren viewed and reviewed with astonishment, and never mentioned without esteem. (Walpole, Anecdotes of Painting, 1798, p 484)


Langley's books were enormously influential in Britain's American colonies. At Mount Vernon, for example, George Washington relied upon plate 51 of Langley's The City and Country Builder's and Workman's Treasury of Designs as the source for the famous Venetian (or Palladian) window in the dining room; upon plate 54 of the same book for the ocular window on Mount Vernon's western facade; and upon plate 75 of Langley's The Builder's Jewel for the rusticated wood siding.
This author page uses material from the Wikipedia article "Batty Langley", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0
Total Books: 9
The Builder's Jewel Or the Youth's Instructor and Workman's Remembrancer by B  T Langley to This Ed Is Added a Dictionary of Terms Used in Architecture c
A Sure and Easy Method of Improving Estates
2009 - A Sure and Easy Method of Improving Estates (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9781150202711
ISBN-10: 1150202718
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The Builder's Jewel Or The Youth's Instructor And Workman's Remembrancer Explaining Short And Easy Rules Made Familiar To The Meanest Capacity For Drawing And Working
Gothick Architecture A Reprint of the Original 1742 Treatise
2003 - Gothick Architecture a Reprint of the Original 1742 Treatise [Dover Pictorial Archive Series] (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9780486426143
ISBN-10: 0486426149
Genre: Engineering & Transportation
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The Builder's Jewel Or the Youth's Instructor and Workman's Remembrancer
Gothic Architecture
Gothic Architecture (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 9780405087332
ISBN-10: 0405087330
Genre: Arts & Photography
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Builder's Chest-book Complete Key to the Five Orders of Columns in Architecture
Gothic Architecture Improved by Rules and Proportions
Gothic Architecture Improved By Rules and Proportions (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 9780576155052
ISBN-10: 0576155055
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