The Repton Gazette and Brown Advisor

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

Category: Functional

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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291: Is pedantry a virtue?

The more than distinguished Professor H of Pennsylvania has communicated and in his communication he makes it clear in his by-the-way fashion that when Sir William Chambers described the designs of the master-illusionist, Capability Brown, as little more than a walk around a common field, he meant ‘common field’ in the sense ‘common or garden’, that is, ordinary, everyday.

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117: What effect did poaching have on landscape design?

Rather as Einstein and Newton both expected to find a single simple solution at the heart of the problems of the universe, so there are those who would look to find a simple explanation for the flowering of the English landscape in the second half of the 18th century; and loud among competing voices are the grim shooting men of Norfolk, who claim that it was a response to the exponential increase in poaching through this period.

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70: Whose the washing line?


The post for the washing-line, once common on every village green.

The washing-line post, once common on every village green.

Mention of Nuneham has elicited a query from Mr B of Tiverton as to the origin of the washing-line.

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67: Where were the toilets?

Box topiary: slim-fit for the more slender gentleman, and the more willowy figure


A recent post (note 60) has caught the eye of Mr E of Cambo.

In a lengthy disquisition on his own  practice when amongst his vegetables and in the light of the four necessary houses in the east pleasure ground at Wallington Hall,

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The Brown Advisor©2015

By John Phibbs