The Repton Gazette and Brown Advisor

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

Tag: Fisherwick

262: What is it about Brown and drains?

It has been my great good fortune to spend a few days recently at liberty in Fenstanton, that tranquil village neatly bisected by the Felixstowe Road which serves here to link the Great North Road with the M11.

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255: How serious is Hampton Court?

Grove planting of some form in the foreground, and look at the regularly spaced bushes against the wall!

Grove planting of some form in the foreground, and look at the regularly spaced bushes against the wall!

Captain Ken commented to me only the other day that though he can walk 30 miles across country without thinking much of it, after twenty minutes in a picture gallery his back aches, his arches have fallen, a terrible feeling of torpor overcomes him, his body cries out for a pot of tea and a simple bench to rest himself upon.

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214: Did Brown really dislike deer?

In my last (note 213), I offered to my companions at the Tatler’s Waste-bin a list of all those landscapes of that fine man and lord-lieutenant of Huntingdon, Capability Brown, for which I had records of an active deer park.

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211: Are there any good illustrations of Brown’s work?

Spring brings out the cynic in men like Captain Ken – it is the sudden and unpredictable change in the look of things. Mr Honey on the other hand grows steadily less repressible. ‘Hark at the lark!’ he is wont to say, at every chirrup from a passing sparrow.

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225: What is a natural cascade?

The Bowood Cascade

The Bowood Cascade

John Dalrymple: `The rapidity and noise of the rivers should be increased by artificial bulwarks and impediments .. and the falls of water should, by the interposition of rocks, or of new streams brought over them, be made to look more like cataracts than cascades…

The cascade at Ugbrooke

The cascade at Ugbrooke

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191: Which firs are pines?

of the PINE tribe, set out as standards, or in groups, or in the outer ranks of a plantation, the lower boughs are their best ornament. How rich is their effect at BERKLEY, ENVILLE, FISHERWICK.’

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180: What is a fir?

Captain Ken may be called by some a quibbler and by some laconic of utterance. Some find his usual costume of trousers gartered with cycle clips and brightly checked sweaters a sufficient deterrent to conversation in itself. Nonetheless he put a fine question to the company when last we foregathered four our monthly supper at the Tatler’s Waste-Bin. The fact is that besides fir (Abies spp.) and spruce (Picea spp.), Scots and Corsican pines were also called firs in the 18th century and there is not much that we can do about it.

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115: Where are Brown’s chestnuts?

It being advent, and the braziers at every lamp-post with hot Spanish chestnuts for sale, that fine gentleman and man of parts, Mr Honey, on our meeting at the Tatler’s Waste-Bin, offered me one from a small brown paper-bag he had stuffed in his waistcoat, and then declared that Sweet Chestnut was the most superb of trees, echoing Thomas Hale, ‘very much superior … in every Respect’.

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95: What about Sycamore?

Mrs L. of Ilkley asks what tree would best summon up for the quintennial celebration that is to come in 2216 the quirkiness and quintessential quickness of Capability Brown. I don’t want to promote a competition, but I would put in a vote for the simple and much abused sycamore.

AS Thomas Hale observed sycamore will readily regrow from a stump. Its cousin the Norway Maple was coppiced in the shrubbery at Croome for its leaf and colour.

As Thomas Hale observed sycamore will readily regrow from a stump. Its cousin the Norway Maple was coppiced in the shrubbery at Croome for its leaf and colour.

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13: I still don’t understand: what was Spyers for?

The upper of these two details is certainly by Spyers, the lower is said to be Brown. Differences are slight or non-existent.

The upper of these two details is certainly by Spyers, the lower is said to be Brown. Differences are slight or non-existent.

I don’t pretend to be able to answer all the questions I get asked. But here are a couple more:

1               how many plans did Jonathan Spyers draw for the great magician, Capability Brown?

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The Brown Advisor©2015

By John Phibbs