Landscapes protected to celebrate 300th anniversary of Capability Brown’s birth

Lancelot Brown's Wilderness House at Hampton Court Palace, which has been upgraded to the National Heritage List for England at Grade II to mark the 300th anniversary of the birth of leading garden designer.
Lancelot Brown's Wilderness House at Hampton Court Palace, which has been upgraded to the National Heritage List for England at Grade II to mark the 300th anniversary of the birth of leading garden designer.
0
Have your say

Landscapes created by leading garden designer Capability Brown are being protected to mark the 300th anniversary of his birth.

Stoke Place in Buckinghamshire and Peper Harow Park in Surrey are being added to the National Heritage List for England at Grade II, while seven other sites including his home are given greater protection or updated entries on the list.

A new online map is being launched showing the principal Capability Brown landscapes, from Stowe in Buckinghamshire to Belvoir Castle, Leicestershire, and Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, described as “the finest view in England”.

The map, created by Government heritage agency Historic England, will allow people to explore the landscapes from a bird’s eye view with new aerial photography and shows which areas and buildings are listed as protected.

Lancelot “Capability” Brown, who gained his nickname because he would tell clients their estates had great “capability” for improvements to the landscape, transformed the look of 18th century country house gardens.

He removed formal planting in favour of an idealised “natural” landscape, moving hills, making flowing lakes and serpentine rivers, draining marshland to create lakes and even moving an entire village out of sight to improve the view.

Stoke Place is a survivor of 18th century parkland on the outskirts of Slough, and an important example of Brown’s pleasure ground designs, created at the height of his career and featuring a large lake.

Peper Harow, near Godalming, was landscaped by Brown in the 1760s and still largely reflects the landscape architect’s original design.

Several trees survive from Brown’s time, and are now more than 250 years old, and it is likely he was responsible for “sculpting” the River Wey here.

In addition to the new listings, Brown’s home Wilderness House at Hampton Court Palace has been upgraded to Grade II* to reflect his time as master gardener to George III.

The landscape of Wooton Underwood, Buckinghamshire, which features a Capability Brown design and is undergoing restoration, has been upgraded to Grade I.

Listings for the church where Brown is buried in the graveyard, St Peter and St Paul, Fenstanton, Cambridgeshire, and the walled garden at Charlton Park, Wiltshire, have been updated.

So too have entries on the list for Hewell Grange, Worcestershire, Temple Newsam, Leeds, and Appuldurcombe, Isle of Wight, to celebrate Brown’s national importance.

Heritage Minister Tracey Crouch said: “Capability Brown was a pioneer in landscape design, whose stunning work is still revered 300 years on at beautiful locations throughout the country.

“I’m delighted that two of his landscapes have been added to the National Heritage List for England, ensuring that these stunning scenes continue to be recognised for centuries to come.”

Dr Roger Bowdler, director of Listing for Historic England, said: “Lancelot Brown was one of the great creative forces of Georgian England.

“Steeped in the practicalities of garden design, he brought a lyrical eye to the landscape and envisioned how nature could be improved upon.”

Historic England is a partner in the Capability Brown Festival, which is marking the anniversary of his birth in 1716 with events, openings, projects and exhibitions.

‘Miracle’ as danger driver hits 100mph during police chase through Leeds estate