The Repton Gazette and Brown Advisor

300 Frequently Asked Questions about Capability Brown, and a further 200 about Humphry Repton

Category: Routes (Page 1 of 4)

1827: Approaches?

‘The approaches at Norris Castle are symmetrical and have a certain overriding geometry. There is nothing else like this in Repton’s oeuvre, hence they are unlikely to have been designed by him.

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1825: Pleasure grounds?

Oofy here: Editorial:  I hear a fellow speaking. Makes perfect sense. Beautifully expressed. A treat. Then think of saying something m’self, I get the phrases. Jumbled up though. Can’t work out which comes first. 

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296: Who did the driving?

Captain Ken, being a bicycling man, is forever in pursuit of some new place in which to try his skills, be it the screes of a mountain slope or the dense undergrowth of a distant forest and he now returns from the United States with a renewed disdain for the familiar well-trodden paths of custom.

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285: What of Steffie Shields?

A delayed train to Carlisle having given me an hour or two in hand at Newcastle, I resolved to indulge myself with Steffie Shields Moving Heaven and Earth Capability Brown’s gift of landscape.

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274: Could Simon Warner be right?

One is never entirely alone in the metropolis that is Harrogate. True it is Yorkshire, but this is not the Yorkshire we are familiar with, a place of crags and craggy visages, of whinstone and wind-swept moors, here the cream of society meets at Betty’s and barely a seat to be had, even on a Wednesday.

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266: Could Brown see two fronts at once?

Captain Ken is an excellent and reliable fellow, if inclined to extreme scepticism when he comes across any suggestion of the Brown Advisor’s. He numbers archery amongst his past-times and it was while we were amusing ourselves at the butts that he asked me whether I was sticking to the notion that Capability Brown preferred to show off his houses in a head-on view. I said I did, for Brown was a friend to freedom and a foe to forced solutions: if head-on was the most obvious way to see a house, then head-on is what he would provide. Indeed I had already published my opinion on the matter (note 12 for example).

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253: How is it for you? (3) Land management

Forgive me if in this note I resume my happy task of setting out the progress of enlightened thought in pursuit of that snappy salesman, the gardener, Capability Brown, through a consideration of Dr Sarah Rutherford’s new book Capability Brown and his landscape gardens.

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251: How is it for you? (1) The scale of the endeavour

Norfolk is a county for the conservative, it is a quiet place and the Norfolk people live contentedly there, with their ancient traditions of smuggling and wrecking. With a cutlass in one hand and a twinkling light in the other, and their one good eye always a-roving, they keep a watch for the lost sailors whom they may lure to destruction on the sandy wastes of the Wash.

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249: Are you going to Sledmere on the 22nd May?

I have, over the last few years, scarcely opened my mouth without the word ‘riding’ popping out. I and my companions at the Tatler’s Waste-bin are asked about this, begged-for-our-opinion on that, and if-you-would-be-so-kind-as-to-submit-a-few-paragraphs-upon the other.

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219: Did Thomas Whately know Capability Brown?

I was delighted to meet Dr S, whom one seldom meets outside his native Surrey, striding amongst the glorious hedgerows of paschal Buckinghamshire. As two people will who share a common interest, we fell to a discussion of the ridings, as they were designed by that king of the English countryside, Capability Brown.

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The Brown Advisor©2015

By John Phibbs