Further questions about roads from Mr S. of Droitwich, and a summary reply:Ridings were the private roads that Capability Brown designed from 1750-1780 to provide access to the estate for the family. They were designed to enable guests and residents to sample the scenery, were cheap to build and were perfectly serviceable for occasional use by light vehicles, but here’s Mr Fillingham saying the same thing better as he tries his best to lay out Brown’s design for Belvoir Castle in 1785, two years after the great man died:
‘I think it nearly impossible to make Roads with the Materials in the Neighbourhood that will remain fit for Coaches or Chaise to pass where Waggons and Carts come.
I have proposed making private Roads thro the Inclosures, for the use of Your Graces family only, by casting up a Road in the Form of a Land or Ley about 30 feet wide, to be sown with Rye Grass and Rolled.
I am very much of opinion Roads made in that easy way would be Sufficient in most places, and should some parts require a Covering of small Stones very little will do for a Coach Road only.
… And I am Confident a Private Road may be made at less than one quarter of the expence of making a Public Road, and Ten times more Commodious for your Graces own family.’
Enough said Mr S.