Floral and choral tribute for Capability Brown in Fenstanton

© Portrait of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, c.1770-75, by Richard Cosway (1742-1821)/Private Collecti

© Portrait of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, c.1770-75, by Richard Cosway (1742-1821)/Private Collection/Bridgeman Images. - Credit: Archant

The people of Fenstanton will celebrate the 300th anniversary of the baptism of landscape architect Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown with a floral and choral tribute.

The Manor House, in Fenstanton, where is is believed Capability Brown may have lived.

The Manor House, in Fenstanton, where is is believed Capability Brown may have lived. - Credit: Archant

Brown, who was Lord of the Manor of Fenstanton and Hilton and who probably lived in one of the village’s three manor houses, designed hundreds of estate gardens across England from Alnwick Castle in his native Northumberland to Youngsbury in Hertfordshire. His work in and around Cambridgeshire included Audley End, the Backs in Cambridge, Burghley House, Kimbolton Castle, Madingley Hall and Wimpole Hall.

He died, aged 66, in February 1783, and is buried in the churchyard of Fenstanton Parish Church, and commemorated in a memorial inside the church.

Ray Whitby, chairman of the Fenstanton CB300 Celebration Committee, said: “We are very privileged in Fenstanton to have had Lancelot Brown as Lord of the Manor and to contain the only land and property he ever owned.

“His legacy to the world has been great, and here in Fenstanton we have been entrusted with his last resting place, even though we are not sure exactly where he lies.


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“The whole village has worked hard this year to ensure that visitors celebrating his 300th anniversary have an enjoyable and informative experience during 2016. The biggest part of the celebrations will be at the end of August, and we want to see as many people as possible taking part.”

The 300th anniversary of his baptism on August 30 1716 is being celebrated at landscapes he designed around England, culminating in a week-long flower festival in Fenstanton Parish Church, ending in a celebratory garden-themed service at which the Bishop of Huntingdon, the Rt Revd David Thomson, will preach.

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A preview of the flower festival will take place on Friday evening, August 19, between 7.30pm and 9pm, when the arrangers will be on hand to explain their creations.

On Tuesday August 23 a group of intrepid cyclists from the village will leave Brown’s birthplace in Kirkharle, Northumberland, to ride around 300 miles to his graveside in Fenstanton. They plan to arrive in time for the 4pm start of a picnic-barbecue on the Saturday (August 27).

The ride is to raise money for major renovations needed to the Brown family’s memorial in the chancel of the parish church, which has become seriously impaired by water damage over the centuries.

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