Capability drops in for a stopover at Trentham Gardens
12 December 2016
A striking statue of Lancelot “Capability” Brown - the renowned landscape garden designer whose tercentenary has been celebrated throughout 2016 - has gone on show at the award-winning Trentham Gardens.
The bronze statue has been a part of an international sculpture exhibition at Doddington Hall near Lincoln, and is soon due to take up permanent residence beside the River Thames in Hammersmith close to where Brown lived for thirteen years.
Prior to its journey south, however, it has now gone on show until next spring at The Trentham Estate, which has been a focus of attention this year thanks to the ongoing project to rediscover the Capability Brown-designed landscapes in the parkland and around the famous lake.
Sculptor Laury Dizengremel, the Artist-In-Residence for Belvoir Castle in the East Midlands, created the statue of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown in clay using Brown’s portrait by Cosway for his likeness, then had a mould made and cast it in traditional lost-wax bronze. Whilst copies could be made for other locations around the world, Trentham will host this original life-sized bronze statue, which weighs approximately 207kg, is the first ever life size full figure sculpture of Brown and stands on its own plinth in the same way it did at Doddington Hall.
The arrival of the statue is being seen as yet another coup for The Trentham Estate
A leading estate in 18th century Britain, The Trentham Estate became one of Brown’s most celebrated successes, and is still involved in an ongoing project aimed at rediscovering Capability’s lost landscape.
Brown (1716-1783) was known as the ‘father of landscape architecture’, and worked on over 260 sites across England and Wales during the mid-18th Century. His landscapes are naturalistic, featuring curving lines, flowing lakes and picture perfect viewpoints all carefully crafted to appear in the landscape for the enjoyment of people exploring the grounds.
His nickname ‘Capability’ came from his fondness of saying that landscapes showed great capability for improvement.
“Brown was employed at Trentham from 1759 to 1780 and created the mile long lake and the surrounding parklands in the gardens,” says Head of Garden and Estate, Michael Walker. “As such, The Trentham Estate is an excellent resting place for the statue of the great man himself.”
Described as the “garden make-over of the decade” by The Daily Telegraph, Staffordshire’s Trentham Gardens also took the title of the UK’s “Garden of the Year” in the annual BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards in 2015.
Also boasting the statue of Perseus, which enjoyed a starring role at the Royal Academy of Art in London in 2012, and the perennially eye-catching Trentham Fairy Trail, Trentham’s historic Gardens and Parkland have been in the headlines throughout 2016 as a leading example of a Capability Brown parkland, during a project which has seen it be rediscovered, and moved forward with contemporary plantings on a truly vast scale.
Photo Credit: Joe Caneen
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The Trentham Estate, on the edge of Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, offers one of the UK’s most diverse days out with a range of leisure activities for all ages.
It is one of the country’s top leisure destinations, attracting more than 3.2m visitors per year and was awarded a Gold Accolade by VisitEngland in February 2016 in recognition of the quality visitor experience offered. The fabulous restored Trentham Gardens at the heart of the Estate welcomed almost 545,000 paying visitors in 2015 - making them one of the most visited gardens in the UK. They were also named the UK’s “Garden of the Year” in the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards 2015. Owned and managed by St. Modwen Properties PLC, the UK’s leading regeneration specialist, the 725-acre Estate, which was previously owned for over 400 years by the Dukes of Sutherland, has undergone a massive regeneration programme since 2003. The Estate boasts: The famous Trentham Gardens, including the very important Italianate Gardens designed by Charles Barry in the 1830s that have been lovingly restored using top landscape designers. The gardens feature the UK’s first ‘barefoot’ walk, a great children’s adventure play area and maze and a beautiful walk around the mile long lake, originally laid out by Lancelot “Capability” Brown in the 18th Century. The Trentham Garden Centre and Shopping Village, an eclectic mix of shops and eateries with a 119-bedroom Premier Inn Hotel. Trentham Monkey Forest - a unique opportunity to walk amongst 140 free roaming Barbary macaques, in a natural woodland environment for this endangered species. Aerial Extreme, an exhilarating treetop high rope adventure course. Extensive woodlands.