Capability Brown

Capability Brown Festival 2016

We were proud to join, with other county gardens trusts, in the celebration of 300 years of Capability Brown’s historic landscape designs.

The festival is over but the website celebrating 300 years of Capability Brown’s stunning landscape designs is still available.

You can use an interactive map to find out more about sites where Capability Brown is known or thought to have worked across the UK.

How we celebrated Capability Brown's historic landscape designs in our county

1. The launch

Gilly Drummond, Chair of the Capability Brown Festival 2016, joined Northamptonshire Gardens Trust and Castle Ashby to celebrate the launch of an ambitious project which aimed to encourage a wider and more diverse audience to visit, learn about and enjoy Capability Brown’s landscapes.

The launch, which included the premiere of a newly produced film of the magnificent Brownian landscape at Castle Ashby, was part of the Capability Brown Festival taking place throughout 2016. The Festival was managed by the Landscape Institute and was funded with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with Castle Ashby on this exciting project. It is anticipated that this will be a very busy and exciting year where the genius of Lancelot Capability Brown can be duly celebrated and more people will visit, enjoy and learn about his landscapes”.

Jenny Burt, Secretary of Northamptonshire Gardens Trust

Gilly Drummond (Chair of the Capability Brown 2016 Festival) proposes a toast

2. Visits to Castle Ashby

As part of our ambitious project aimed to encourage a wider and more diverse audience to visit, learn about and enjoy Capability Brown’s landscapes, we worked in partnership with Castle Ashby, with a week of visits in July 2016.

We co-hosted three groups:

  • Rowangate School (for pupils with a range of complex learning needs)
  • Southwood House (for adults with disabilities)
  • SERVE (supporting independence in the home).

We hope you enjoy these photographs which show the fun that was experienced by us all.

See Castle Ashby visits >

Capability Brown welcoming his guests

3. Children's Competition: Naming Capability Brown's Horse

This competition was sponsored by Podington Wyevale Garden Centre and launched at the Chichele Garden Fair as part of the children’s activities supporting the exhibition.

Kira Lawson, aged 8 of Higham Ferrers, received first prize for choosing the best name for Capability Brown’s Horse, “Able”.

Kira receiving her prize of garden tools and clothing together with the newly produced Capability Brown rose

4. Exhibition: Lancelot Capability Brown, the Man and his Work in Northamptonshire

Our exhibition was first shown to the public at the Chichele Garden Fair in Higham Ferrers. It was then displayed at Wyvale Garden centres throughout Northamptonshire during June – September 2016.

See the Exhibition >

Capability Brown exhibition at Wyevale Garden Centre

5. Film: Capability Brown invites you to step into his magnificent landscape at Castle Ashby …

Our film was first launched at Castle Ashby on 11 May 2016 to Northamptonshire Gardens Trust members and representatives of the Capability Brown Festival including Gilly Drummond, the Chair.

This was followed by the first public viewing at the Chichele Garden Fair on 28 May where it accompanied the exhibition entitled Lancelot Capability Brown: the Man and his Work in Northamptonshire.

From then it was shown throughout the month of June at Podington Wyevale Garden Centre, again accompanying the exhibition and being shown on a loop for 7 days a week.

See our film and find out how we made it >

Find out more about Lancelot Capability Brown and his work

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