Humphry Repton is regarded by many as the successor to Capability Brown. 2018 marks the bicentenary of Repton’s death, and many of his gardens will be holding events to commemorate the influential landscape designer.
Here are some of his most famous gardens, from the waterside Anthony Woodland Garden in Cornwall to Cheshire’s remarkable Tatton Park.
1. Sheringham Park, Norfolk
Close to Repton’s home in the village of Sustead is Sheringham Park, perhaps the best-preserved example of the Englishman’s work. His spectacular design flows through a variety of habitats, such as Bower pond, which bursts into life in summer with azure damselflies and broad-bodied chaser dragonflies.
2. Antony Woodland Garden, Cornwall
This lesser-known Repton treasure is split into two areas, the Wilderness and West Down. It’s in the former – a wooded slope rolling down to the River Lynher – that Repton’s influence is most prominent, designed alongside his friend Reginald Pole-Carew.
3. Attingham Park, Shropshire
A circular trail through Attingham Park, nicknamed the ‘Repton Ramble’, offers visitors a flavour of the harmonious landscapes that the designer envisaged for the 18th-century mansion and estate. The loop includes a stop at The Repton Oak, a tree planted by the man himself.
4. Woburn Abbey, Bedfordshire
Open to the public since 1955, the gardens at Woburn Abbey are rich with Repton influence. A particular highlight is the reconstructed Cone House, originally designed as a platform from which the Duke of Bedford, his family and their guests could safely watch the wild animals of their menagerie.
5. Hatchlands Park, Surrey
The rolling green of Hatchlands Park was partly landscaped by Repton. National Trust gardeners deserve great credit for their efforts to not only protect the designer’s work but to recreate his original plan – most recently with the planting of oaks, sweet chestnuts, limes and hornbeams.
6. Tatton Park, Cheshire
Despite being a deer park since 1290, the appearance of Tatton today is due to the work of Repton. A stroll through the park’s beech-lined avenues is well worth it and, in June, you can take part in a Repton-themed cycle ride, led by head gardener Simon Tetlow.
7. Uppark House and Garden, West Sussex
This property was graced by the hands of both Repton and ‘Capability’ Brown (whose wide glade is a picnic spot worth knowing about). On sunny days, the café sets up tables and chairs on the grass with views out over the South Downs.