The Gardens Trust Winter Lecture by Professor Stephen Daniels
6.30 pm on Thursday 15 March at the Museum of Bath Architecture
In the years since the publication of Stephen Daniels’ book Humphry Repton: Landscape Gardening and the Geography of Georgian England (1999), appreciation of Repton’s work, and the landscape arts of the period, has developed in a number of stimulating directions. In this lecture Professor Daniels surveys this field of interest and inquiry with a view to opening new approaches to understanding and communicating the art of landscape gardening, and imaginative ways to commemorate the cultural significance of Repton’s work and its legacy in this bicentenary year.
The Gardens Trust was formed by the merger of the Association of Gardens Trusts (AGT) and the Garden History Society (GHS) on Friday 24th July 2015.
Humphrey Repton was born in 1752 in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. After an unsuccessful start in the textile business, he set himself up as a landscape gardener. He went on to design around 400 hundred English landscapes and gardens, becoming a worthy successor to the great Capability Brown.
Estates where Repton worked include Tatton Park in Cheshire, Uppark House in West Sussex, Welbeck Abbey in Nottinghamshire, and Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire. He famously produced ‘Red Books’ or folios to present his proposed improvements, showing ‘before’ and ‘after’ views of the landscape.
Repton’s work links the landscape design of the eighteenth century and the gardenesque movement of the early Victorian years. At the end of his life he said ‘as a landscape designer I have never been superseded by a more successful rival. My own profession, like myself, was becoming extinct.’