Celebrate the 'Shakespeare of gardening'

Celebrate the 'Shakespeare of gardening'


Posted 4th Aug 2016


While 2016 marks the 300th anniversary of celebrated landscape architect Lancelot 'Capability' Brown, his actual date of birth is a mystery

Records show that he was baptised on 30 August 1716 (and at the time babies would be baptised shortly after birth) which has led to August being dubbed his birthday month.

Taking place across the country this August, the Capability Brown Festival celebrates the life, work and legacy of one of England's most famous gardeners, who has been labelled both the 'Shakespeare of gardening' and the 'grandfather of landscape architecture'.

So what can you do to participate? Just a few of the activities are listed below:

Capabili-Teas at Scampston
Scampston, North Yorkshire
6-7 August 2016
Celebrate Brown’s birthday month with a Georgian style afternoon tea

Brown’s Birthday Weekend Celebrations
Wimpole, Cambridgeshire (cared for by the National Trust)
28 August 2016
Join the 300th anniversary celebrations at Wimpole with a Capabili-Tea tent, a Georgian cricket match and performances by theatrical and dance groups

Capability Brown’s Birthday Festival
Kirkharle, Northumberland
26-29 August 2016
A whole host of family friendly activities including crafts, games, pony carriage rides and even an appearance by Mr Brown himself! Events will climax with a traditional church fête at St Wilfred’s Church, where Brown was baptised in 1716

Picnic with the past at Gatton Park
Gatton Park, Surrey
28-29 August 2016
Enjoy a family picnic with characters in Georgian costume – dress up and bring your own picnic, or alternatively light refreshments and a children’s dressing up corner are available

A three-hour bell ringing marathon
Croome D’Abitot, Croome, Worcestershire (cared for by the National Trust)
30 August 2016
Listen out for the church bells of St Mary Magdalene (built by Brown) on Brown’s baptism day, between 10:30-13:30

Brown is linked with over 250 landscapes across England and Wales, including Highclere Castle, Chatsworth and Blenheim Palace. He worked with one king, six prime ministers and half of the House of Lords, yet despite his famous client list, the man himself is something of a mystery.

blenheim palace
[Image courtesy of Blenheim Palace]

Ceryl Evans, director of the Capability Brown Festival, said: "Brown’s portfolio is impressive – we see examples of his influence from Dinefwr in Carmarthenshire to Chilham Castle in Kent, which back in the 18th century wouldn’t have been easy to manage, whether in terms of the geographical spread of his client portfolio, or the practical difficulties of travelling around the country! Brown was not just a landscape architect; he was an engineer, entrepreneur, salesman and an extremely effective businessman too. It was the combination of these skills which led to his success across England and Wales, and what better time to celebrate his accomplishments than in his birthday month."

To find other events in your area visit: www.capabilitybrown.org

Lead image courtesy of NT Images & Andrew Butler





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