Fonthill Splendens was the large Palladian house built at Fonthill by William Beckford’s father, Alderman Beckford, using as architect a bricklayer named Hoare, after an earlier house had been destroyed by fire in 1755. The Alderman died in 1770; his son pulled Fonthill Splendens down in 1807, after he had built his ‘Gothic Abbey’. Only a ceremonial entrance gateway, a boathouse (see D02184; Turner Bequest XLVII 7) and some elaborate grottos survive of this ambitious scheme. The drawing was made with the page turned horizontally.
For a proposed sequence for the leaves of the disbound Fonthill sketchbook, with this page as folio 14, see the Introduction.