Thursday, 10 March 2016

Moving Heaven and Earth.....

This year we celebrate the tercentenary of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown- the creator of many of England’s most cherished landscapes.

Although he has his critics (visionary- or vandal?) there’s no doubt that Brown’s name is synonymous with the smoothly contoured hills and perfectly placed watercourses that so closely copy nature. The very essence of “Englishness.”
Croome Park NT Images/ David Noton

I have always been fascinated by his engineering skills- his ability to manipulate water-  changing watercourses and creating of lakes.  Just the temerity he had to sweep away whole villages if they stood in the way of his plans to create an idealised view.  How did he manage to picture the finished landscape, with none of our modern measuring tools and digital equipment?  How did they work on such a vast scale with none of our powerful earth- moving equipment?

“Moving Heaven and Earth: Capability Brown’s Gift of Landscape,” is the title of Steffie Shields’ Spring Lecture for the LRGT. 
Steffie Shields

It is also the title of her new book, due to be published in May.  Celebrated historian, photographer and writer  Steffie will explore the surviving highlights of Brown’s career, and will include local works  at Belvoir Castle , Stapleford Park, and Burghley House.  
Burghley Lake (photo from

Steffie is organising an exhibition in London of contemporary photography   as part of the Capability Brown Tercentenary Celebrations. She is on the University of Cambridge Tutors Panel, Institute of Continuing Education, Madingley, and is Advisor to the Steering Group working towards the national celebrations this year.

Moving Heaven and Earth; Capability Brown’s Gift of Landscape; Saturday 12th March 2016 2pm: Please note change of venue:

The venue has been changed from Kenwood Bowling Club to:
Knighton Rd
Guests Welcome £2 payable on the door.  After the lecture, there will be tea and cakes.
Also:  Book Now! As part of our Capability Brown celebrations, we are hosting a trip to Croome Park on May 19th with lunch in the walled garden. Please see the website for details.

By Karen Gimson