Home Places to visit 300th anniversary of Capability Brown’s birth

300th anniversary of Capability Brown’s birth

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Kirkharle
Kirkharle, Northumberland, birthplace of Capability Brown. Picture; Georgia Smith

Events to mark tricentenary of North-East gardener

The Capability Brown Festival 2016 celebrates the life, work and legacy of 18th-century Northumberland-born landscape architect and Royal Gardener to King George III, Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown.

It’s the 300th anniversary of his birth this year, hence the festivities.

Born in Kirkharle, he is associated with more than 250 landscapes across England and Wales, including Blenheim Palace, Chatsworth and Croome.

Family-friendly events taking place in the North East include:

July 30, 1.30-3.30pm, guided walks at Kirkharle (1.5 miles), Kirkharle Courtyard, Newcastle upon Tyne NE19 2PE.
Trained guides will help visitors to interpret the landscape and Brown’s plans for the park. Free event. Advance booking not required. Meet in the east car park.

Wallington
The Walled Garden, Wallington, Northumberland. Picture by Mark Sunderland

August 18; September 15; October 20, 2pm, Scampston Hall, Malton, North Yorkshire YO17 8NG.
Walking in the Footsteps of Brown.
Guided tour, standard admission fees apply – suggested donation £2.

Until October 30 (daily during school holidays and weekends only during term-time), Wallington.
Playful Planning with Capability Brown at Wallington.
Visit the indoor play space and learn all about Capability Brown and his landscapes, while playing in the ‘parkland’, dressing up and designing your own garden.
Normal admission charges apply. The site is fully accessible however the grounds involve some steep slopes, loose gravel or uneven woodland paths and steps. An access map is available.

Until October 30, Wallington.

Kirkharle
Big skies and reflections at Kirkharle. Picture by Kirkharle

Blackett’s Grand Design Challenge.
Discover how ‘capable’ you are by following a trail around the grounds and deciding how you would redesign the landscape at Wallington for Sir Walter Calverley Blackett.
Normal admission charges apply.

Until September 4, gardens play area, Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate, Tuesday – Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 2pm-5pm.
Drop in during regular opening hours to the gardens carpet area, suitable for small children. There is an Art and Landscape trail around the exhibitions and pick up trails for exploring the nearby Valley Gardens. Check out Noble Prospects: Capability Brown and the Yorkshire Landscape until September 11.

Alnwick Castle
Reflecting on the design of the grounds at Alnwick Castle. Picture Visit England/NewcastleGateshead

Until August 7, Gibside, National Trust, Rowlands Gill, Gateshead NE16 6BG, 10am-6pm.
Landscape and Gardens of Gibside.
Exhibition with the Embroiderers’ Guild. More than 100 people, aged four-80, have been involved in this six-month project, with over 150 pieces of textile art. Normal admission costs apply.
The property is generally accessible, however, there is a walkway up to the Walled Garden. If that’s unsuitable there are electric mobility scooters available to hire as well as a shuttle bus. Some of the paths into the wider estate can be uphill. Telephone: 01207 541820.

Until August 9, 2pm, Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate.
Gallery tour of Noble Prospects: Capability Brown and the Yorkshire Landscape.
Join Karen Lynch, exhibition curator from the Yorkshire Gardens Trust to enjoy an informal, free tour of this exhibition, which has been inspired by her research into Capability Brown landscapes in Yorkshire.
Booking recommended as limited places available. Call 01423 556 188.

26-29 August, Capability Brown’s Birthday Festival, Kirkharle.
Crafts, games, pony carriage rides and a traditional church fete at St Wilfred’s Church, where Brown was baptised in 1716.

Wallington
The gardens at Wallington

Until September 4, 10am-5pm, Scampston Hall, Malton.
Embroiderers’ Guild Exhibition.
The work will be exhibited in the conservatory and has been inspired by the Walled Gardens and Capability Brown parkland at Scampston. Normal gardens admission prices apply.

Until October 30, Alnwick Castle, Alnwick, Northumberland NE66 1NQ. State rooms: 10.30am-4.30pm, last admission 4pm; grounds: 10am-5.30pm.
The Landscape of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown at Alnwick Castle.
An interior display featuring a short animation, and an exterior installation on the Castle Terrace, overlooking the landscape re-designed by Brown for the 1st Duke of Northumberland in the 1770s.
Regular castle admission applies. Some areas of the castle and grounds have limited accessibility. Free wheelchair and mobility scooter hire is available from admissions. Dogs (except assistance dogs) are not permitted. Telephone: 01665 511 100.

Until October 30, Wallington.

Wallington
The Walled Garden at Wallington. Picture John Millar

Shining a New Light on Capability Brown – a Display of Original Brown Drawings.
Normal admission charges apply.

Until October 31: Kirkharle Courtyard: Capability Brown Event Series.
In celebration of Capability Brown’s tercentenary Kirkharle Courtyard hosts a series of events throughout 2016.
Visit www.kirkharlecourtyard.co.uk to find out what’s taking place at Capability Brown’s birthplace.

Until October 31, Wallington.
Landscapes of Capability Brown – an Exhibition by the North East Embroiderers’ Guild.
Normal admission charges apply.

For further details on all these events, visit www.capabilitybrown.org/events.

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Mandy Watson is a freelance journalist and an incurable plantaholic. MandyCanUDigIt grew from the tiny seed of a Twitter account into the rainforest of information you see before you. Gardening columnist for the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail and editor of the Teesdale Mercury Magazine. Attracted by anything rebellious, exotic and nerdy, even after all these years. Passionate about northern England and gardens everywhere. Falls over a lot.

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