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date: 20 August 2019

Brown, (Lancelot) ‘Capability’locked

(bapt Kirkharle, Northumb., Aug 30, 1716; d London, Feb 6, 1783).
  • Dorothy Stroud

Extract

(bapt Kirkharle, Northumb., Aug 30, 1716; d London, Feb 6, 1783).

English landscape gardener and architect.

Following his schooling at the nearby village of Cambo, Brown was first employed c. 1732 by Sir William Loraine of Kirkharle, who was then extending his grounds and remodelling the house. Here Brown learnt the rudiments of building and land management and in time was entrusted with laying out extensions to the garden. At Kirkharle, Loraine rebuilt the village on a new and more distant site and, with Brown’s assistance, laid out extensive lawns, flanking them with massive plantations in which several thousand trees of contrasting foliage were introduced. Scarcely a trace remains of this transformation, but a descendant of Loraine recorded that it was Brown’s ‘first landscape work’ and led to him being consulted on other gardens in the area towards the end of the decade.

In about 1739 Brown decided to make a career for himself further south, and his first known commission (...

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