The Twickenham Museum
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Lancelot 'Capability' Brown
Landscape Gardener
1716 - 1783

Lancelot Brown

Nicknamed 'Capability'

Lancelot 'Capabilty' Brown, the son of a gardener, became very well known as a designer of landscape gardens and parks. His ideas became so popular that 170 gardens surrounding the finest country houses and estates in Britain were designed by him.

He came to earn the nickname "Capability" from his habit of telling clients that their gardens had "great capabilities".

The new English landscape gardens

The new English landscape gardens were laid out with sweeping meadows mingled with clumps of trees. These were designed to give the impression of a romantic natural scene.

The trees opened up to give glimpses of classical temples, bridges, or monuments. Everything was carefully designed to give a sense of informality and natural beauty.

Local gardens by 'Capability' Brown

In 1761 in later life Brown was appointed head gardener at Hampton Court Palace. He was not very interested by the formal layout at Hampton Court and often clashed with the Board of Works!

He also designed the gardens at Syon House. These are more in his natural landscape style.

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