The Repton Gazette and Brown Advisor

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

Tag: Luton Hoo

1846: Did Repton work for a lower class of person than Brown?

‘It is a truth universally acknowledged, though unsupported by any evidence, that Humphry Repton worked for a lower class of people than Brown.

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242: What is the ‘valley transverse’?

The valley at Bowood runs behind the house to the lake

The valley at Bowood runs behind the house to the lake

In my last I introduced the ‘valley direct’ in the face of stern opposition. The ‘valley transverse’ is a more fugitive idea and the opposition, I fear, will be still more fierce. Yet in my rambles with the Captain I have on several occasions noticed valleys in the landscapes of that happy hunter, Capability Brown, that neither run direct to the house, nor are set at right angles to it, in the way that I described in my last post. 

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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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236: What do you know about valleys?

The golden valley, as fine an example of the valley adventitious as you will ever see

The golden valley, as fine an example of the valley adventitious as you are ever likely to see

Miss S writes to tell me that being newly arrived in Berkhamstead she took herself to view the town’s great landmark, known as the Golden Valley, and she wonders now if that master of beech-hung beauty, Capability Brown, whom she knew by reputation, could have worked his wizardry there.

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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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207: Why did Brown work for Bute?

Mrs P has also asked for any insight that the Brown Advisor may have into the feeling that Capability Brown might have had for one of his most faithful and talented clients, that most hated of men, Lord Bute.

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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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41: What did Brown’s foremen do?

A whole raft of questions have been asked of Brown’s associates, people like Samuel Lapidge and Benjamin Read, who acted as foremen for the master-gardener Capability Brown on many of his landscapes. Here are a few of them.

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54: Was Brown a plantsman?

The Advisor has received a number of enquiries about Capability Brown’s use of exotics. Mrs D. has written from Hampshire to ask if Brown bought the Black Locust or

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The Brown Advisor©2015

By John Phibbs