I have been noting the great increase in my post over the last few days. It is unexpected. Here is Mr M of Blandford, a recent and zealous convert to all things related to Capability Brown, not only a place-maker and gardener, but an out of the ordinary architect: ‘Do you know of any illustrations of the type of equipment that CB used in his work ( I saw one in a book)?’
Now one might respond with a mention of his tree-moving apparatus, easily found by googling ‘Capability Brown tree-moving’, but having turned the matter over with my good friend the Captain (who being a bicyclist is very up on cogs, sprockets and such matters), I think that Mr M touches on a very interesting point. For I have long been of the opinion that the development of surveying devices enabled Brown to landscape as he did. If Brown’s design in his early years was dominated by the use of angles, then angles would only have been possible with a good theodolite, and if he had a lake in mind, then one would also look to him for a level with a high enough spec. for a canal builder. This is the sort of equipment that they keep in sackfulls in the cupboards of the Museum of Science at Oxford University. It deserves our consideration – technological advance has always conditioned and encouraged advances in other fields.