Celebrating Landscape Architect Humphry Repton

Saturday 24 March marked 200 years since the death of Humphry Repton (21 April 1752 – 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.

Learn more about Repton's life

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:

Catton Park

Catton Park is a small estate on the northern edge of Norwich in Norfolk in Broadland District, now managed as a public park. It was Repton’s first paid commission, and is Grade II*

Catton Park view from the south
Catton Park view from the south © Historic England Archive BB95_01809

Glemham Hall

Glemham Hall in Suffolk is a Grade II historic park and garden where the advice set out by Repton is still very much in evidence. The estate is hosting special open days to mark Repton 200.

Hylands Park

Hylands Park in Chelmsford, Essex is a Grade II* parkland expanded and embellished on advice from Repton in 1797. It has been managed as a public park since 1966 and its gardens, parkland, lake and mansion make for a wonderful day out.

Hylands Park
Hylands Park © Christopher N Laine

Wimpole Hall

Wimpole Hall in Cambridgeshire, owned and managed by the National Trust, is a substantial Grade I historic designed landscape with numerous layers of history, including gardens and parkland drives as set out in Repton’s 1801 Red Book for the 3rd Earl of Hardwicke.

Wimpole Hall oblique aerial view of house and landscape around
Wimpole Hall oblique aerial view © Historic England 29963_016

Woburn Abbey

Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire is a significant commission in Repton’s career  where he advised on a comprehensive scheme for the landscape, including themed gardens, for the 6th Duke of Bedford in 1802. It's included in the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens at Grade I. There is a special study day taking place in April.

Oblique aerial view of Woburn Abbey landscape park
Oblique aerial view of Woburn Abbey landscape park © Historic England Archive NMR_29183_018

Panshanger Park

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.

Panshanger HAR Image by
Panshanger Park, Hertfordshire © Christopher Laine

Ashridge

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.

Aerial view of Ashridge House and parkland
Ashridge House and parkland, Hertforshire © Historic England

Sheringham Park

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.

Sheringham Park
Sheringham Hall across the parkland © Christopher Laine

Written by Christopher Laine, Heritage at Risk Landscape Architect in the East of England

Logo with central medallion showing Repton surveying
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