Celebrating Landscape Architect Humphry Repton
Saturday 24 March marked 200 years since the death of Humphry Repton (21 April 1752 to 24 March 1818), the last great landscape designer of the Georgian era.
Born in Bury St Edmunds, Repton’s life and career was rooted in the East of England and this bicentenary provides the opportunity for a much-deserved celebration of his genius.
Repton advised on designs for around 400 English landscapes and gardens. In the East of England, 39 of Repton’s landscapes are included in the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest. How many have you been to?
Why not visit one of the roughly 120 parks or gardens he designed in the East of England? Read on for our recommendations, and be sure to use your photos to Enrich the List.
Here are some of our favourites:
Panshanger is a Grade II* parkland in Hertfordshire where Repton not only had extensive involvement in advising on designs but also oversaw some of the works as they were being implemented. Panshanger is a site in transition, currently on the Heritage at Risk Register as site owners Tarmac complete mineral operations alongside restoration of the historic designed landscape as part of a new country park. Despite this, the Repton landscape is still evident and the site is partly open to visitors.
Ashridge in Hertfordshire is an exceptional example of a Repton garden, including a monk’s garden, a rosarium and an American garden. Registered at Grade II*, there will be special open days for the gardens in the summer. Much of the parkland and wider estate is owned and managed by the National Trust.
Sheringham Park in north Norfolk is among Repton’s last commissions, where he and his architect son, John Adey Repton, designed a new house, garden and park for Abbot Upcher in 1812. Repton described it as "my most favourite work". It is registered at Grade II* and now owned and managed by the National Trust.
Written by Christopher Laine, Heritage at Risk Landscape Architect in the East of England
Editor's note: Information correct at time of original publication. 'Enriching the List' has since become the Missing Pieces Project. Find out more.