The Repton Gazette and Brown Advisor

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

Tag: Hornby Castle

282: With whom did Brown take coffee?

In my last I (note 281) gave my verdict on the varnished version of verisimilitude that is held to characterise the work of the gardener Capability Brown. Now Mr C of Nailsworth and Ms B of Swindon clearly assume that I have powers to communicate with the dead and so have joined to ask me what question I would put to the man if I had the power to do so.

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269: Can you recommend Harrogate?

In a short but heartening exchange, Mr Honey, flapping himself around his calves, as is his wont, with a horse-whip declared that ‘Nothing, but nothing beats a picture’. He was fresh in from Yorkshire and very full of himself, but I shall summarise his fuller account.

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119: What was the Brownian flower garden?

Hornby Castle (1).JPG

Hornby Castle

Having been away on business I was sorry to come late to a communication from Dr L G of Hackney. It is always a pleasure to catch the good doctor’s lean figure through the frosted glass at the chemist’s, easily recognised by the tented chapeau that he wears when it rains for fear, as he puts it, that water may interfere with the working of his magnificent mind. He now wishes to put his considerable talents to the creation of a menagerie garden in the style of that great original, Capability Brown.

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122: Did Brown get on with architects?

Mr M is curious to know how a landscape gardener like Capability Brown will have got along with architects, supposing they were employed at the same time, and has written from London to ask which of the two would rule the roost.


John Carr is very likely to have been involved with Scampston, but the house still looked like Brown’s handiwork.

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198: How did Brown deal with farm-houses?

Free with their experience and knowledge, there are persons amongst the correspondents to the Brown Advisor who perfectly present their problems and are greatly to be praised for it. One such is Mrs C who has written again from the Solent, being well aware of my interest in Brown as a farmer, this time asking what we know of Brown’s treatment of farm-houses.

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The Brown Advisor©2015

By John Phibbs