John Rutter: Delineations of Fonthill and its Abbey
(London: 1823) Sp Coll q63
Fonthill Abbey: Interior of the Great Western Hall, Leading to the Grand
Saloon or Octagon
Drawn by Geo. Cattermole; engraved by J. C. Varrall
What a magnificent fore-ground does it form to the grand avenue which extends beyond it. The majestic descent of the broad steps, and their arched parapets; the lofty wainscoting and the pointed arches of the walls, filled with the most beautiful glazing, or hidden by crimson draperies, or retiring into a recess which sculpture has dignified with the effigy of a great man; the darkly coloured and elaborately framed roof, displaying in its ample frieze the emblazoned shields of distinguished ancestry, with all its minutest and most common parts moulded, and arranged into ornamental forms; the massive piers of the Great Portal pierced to give light and access to the staircases within them; the Minstrel's gallery which surmounts them; the sculptured surfaces beneath it; the vivid splendour of the little window over; and the grand contour of the noble archway, which the gigantic doors seem waiting to close up for ever, - all contrast powerfully with the light, the freshness, and the depth of the "marble air", and the delicate colouring and simple outline of the external scene ... (pp. 23-24).