Humphry Repton Landscapes
Historic England is a partner in the national celebration for the 200th anniversary of Humphry Repton (21 April 1752 – 24 March 1818).
Humphry Repton was the self-proclaimed successor to Capability Brown. He was a prolific designer and there are some 300 registered parks and gardens associated with him. Unlike Brown, Repton published his theories and also produced beautiful illustrated books of his designs for individual clients which are still treasured.
The County Gardens Trust and others are researching these landscapes. There is also a host of events and activities to join in.
As part of the Repton 200 celebrations, Historic England will be reviewing new findings on Repton’s work and using this to update the National Heritage List for England (NHLE).
As a contribution to the celebrations, Historic England published a Research Report on the anniversary of Reptons death (24 March 2018) on the plants and planting schemes for late Georgian gardens (1780-1820.
The report collates, synthesises and summarises this knowledge and practical horticultural experience. It provides a plant list as a starting point for researchers and those restoring gardens of this period, along with an overview of garden design, the planting palette and planting styles, notes on research resources, and examples of restored gardens. The report includes case studies on:
- Planting Advice on Shrub Beds and ‘Forest Lawns’: Henry Phillips’ Plant Associations (Brighton Royal Pavilion)
- Recreating a Town House Garden (St Helier,Jersey)
- Recreating a Flower Garden (Ashridge)
Three additional case studies on Late Georgian planting schemes were published in September 2018 to coincide with the ‘Repton and Horticulture’ conference in Sheffield. You can download th case studies by clicking on the links below.
- Researching Sir John Soane’s Pitzhanger Manor (Walpole Park) garden planting
- The restoration of the garden at JMW Turner’s Sandycombe Lodge home
- Looking after the restored Regency planting scheme at Swiss Garden, Shuttleworth
The conference proceedings will be published as a special edition of Garden History sponsored by Historic England.
Map of aerial photographs
As part of the previous Capability Brown 300 celebrations in 2016 Historic England created a web application allowing the searching of recent and historic aerial photographs of key landscapes associated with Capability Brown. As part of the Repton celebrations we have updated and expanded this to include photographs related to Repton.
Aerial photographs are a great landscape research resource. Search our interactive map to find recent and historic aerial photographs of key landscapes associated with Humphry Repton or Capability Brown.
Clicking on the map provides a link to the list entry for each of the parks and gardens included on Historic England's Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest. For those not registered, a link has been created to the relevant entry on the Parks and Gardens UK website.
Each photograph is represented by a dot. Clicking on the dot, brings up details of the date on which the photograph was taken, along with a reference number and a link to view the image. There is also a link to the Historic England Archive should you wish to know more about any particular site or to order a larger copy of an image.
Some images may show features not directly associated with Humphry Repton's or Capability Brown's landscapes, such as cropmarks and other earlier or later landscape design features and structures.
Repton's Moggerhanger Red Book
As part of the project we revisited the imagery for Moggerhanger Park, the Red Book watercolour sketches, which we photographed in 1986. For further details see the relevant archive pages. Repton prepared these Red Books to show his clients how his landscaping proposals would look. He used flaps to reveal changes. In the Garden Museum video, the garden historian Todd Longstaffe-Gowan studies the Red Book for Sundridge Park and shows you how it works.
Please click on the gallery images to enlarge.
Jenifer White, one of our National Landscape Advisers, leads on the Capability Brown Festival for Historic England. Jenifer is a chartered landscape architect specialising in the conservation of historic parks and gardens.