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“Capability” Brown at Harewood


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The pleasure grounds, and gardens rare!   Laid out, by Mr Brown, with utmost care;   With great abundance all abound,   And rich luxuriance smiles around:   Though both, which now such beauty yield,   Were lately but a furrow’d field.

A description of Harewood in "The Tourist's Companion" by John Jewell, 1822.

Inheriting a vast wealth in 1753, Edwin Lascelles had ambitious plans to construct Harewood House working with only the finest craftsman of the time. Lancelot “Capability” Brown’s reputation as one of the most important landscape gardeners in Georgian England caught his attention.

In 1775, Brown’s plans for parkland at Harewood were accepted by Edwin, and work began in earnest. The naturalistic landscape that was created included key Brownian features; the 32 acre serpentine lake, cascade and encircling carriage drives which you can still see today.

The impressive works took 6 years to complete. His vision, which was on a truly immense scale, transformed the landscape from functional farmland into romantic, idealised vistas later captured by artists including JMW Turner and early photographer Roger Fenton.