The Repton Gazette and Brown Advisor

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

Tag: Petworth (Page 1 of 2)

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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240: Can you give us the facts?

Mr A is not a man to govern the expression of his opinions, but one would hardly expect to find diffident a man who has drunk so deep in the wells of experience. Only last Friday, on a rare outing from Bristol, his place of rest, he quite disarranged my buttonhole with the vehemence with which he grasped my lapels and demanded facts.

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232: Are rides of any interest?

Only yesterday I made the observation to my friend Captain Ken, as we paused at a spinney for him to seek out a good hazel stick, that I am frequently struck by the surprising way a word, an idea, a place, mentioned once, can become suddenly ubiquitous. For thus it has been for me and Wales – and on the very day following our conversation.

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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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81: How can an orchard be a wilderness?

Professor W, a bulwark of good sense, whose works stand above East Anglia like the ribs of a mighty vessel disdainful of the surrounding swamp, has noted that the old orchard at Chatsworth was brought into the garden there in 1697.

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151: Did Brown shape New York?

Central Park carriages (1)

The horse-drawn carriages of Central Park are not inconspicuous

I was caught in a grimace, with a root beer at the bar on my first step to becoming American, when Mr L of Brooklyn, English as it happens, approached me, and on discovering my occupation, asked whether the great landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted had been influenced by Capability Brown.

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141: Quack? Squawk? Growl?

Mrs F has contacted me from Kenilworth to ask whether Capability Brown designed menageries.

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74: Please tell me what you know about gravel paths?

Miss L writes that she is a student with a dissertation to write and could I please tell her everything I know about gravel paths.

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93: Will anyone stand up for thorn?

‘The hawthorn.., has little claim to picturesque beauty… Its shape is bad. It does not taper, like the holly, but is rather a matted, round, heavy bush.’ Notwithstanding the Rev William Gilpin’s attack, there is a case to be made for hawthorn as the native that Capability Brown planted in greater numbers than any other tree, ‘the pride of park scenery’ as William Marshall called it.

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124: What is the Concave?

The postman has bounced again, and this has brought further inquiries to my breakfast table, all on the subject of quarrying and mess.

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The Brown Advisor©2015

By John Phibbs