Throughout 2016 the work of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown will be marked with a festival of events celebrating his life, work and legacy – 300 years on from his birth.
Brown’s rich legacy of work ranges form Highclere Castle, the fictional home of ‘Downton Abbey’ to the well-known estates of Chatsworth, Blenheim and Stowe, to hidden gems such as Milton Abbey, Weston Park and Compton Verney. In 2016, there will be a range of events for everyone to enjoy – from the most ardent of fans, to those that know nothing of his work but simply enjoy stunning landscapes.
Some highlights include the opportunity to tour the grounds of Belvoir Castle, where a lost Brown design was recently rediscovered and implemented; his first and last known commissions; his longest commission; and some of his crowning achievements. The Capability Brown Festival 2016 has been funded by a £911,100 grant from the Heritage lottery Fund, and is managed by The Landscape Institute. Festival director Ceryl Evans said:
‘Brown’s work was groundbreaking. He blended art and engineering, and moved mountains of earth and villages, to create beautiful naturalistic landscapes which are still much admired today, 300 years after his birth.’
A prolific landscape architect, Brown is associated with more than 250 sites across England and Wales, with many more parks and gardens around the world inspired by his work.
Capability Brown is a name well-known in gardening and landscaping circles, but among the general public his work and influence is less well-known. The Festival aims to address that gap as many of our best loved country houses are set as jewels in the wonderful landscapes he created, but often we recognise them for their architecture but sideline what makes them even more splendid – their amazingly landscaped and seemingly natural settings.
Three centuries after Brown’s birth, the Festival presents a unique opportunity to take a fresh look at how the father of landscape architecture shaped the nation’s countryside.
Source: Landscape and Amenity Magazine, December 2015
Old School Gardener