A view of Alnwick Castle after Capability Brown's works
A new exhibition to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the birth of Lancelot 'Capability' Brown.

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A view of Alnwick Castle prior to Capability Brown's works
It is 300 years since the birth of the famous 18th century landscape designer, Lancelot 'Capability' Brown. The landscape he designed here at Alnwick can still be enjoyed by the visitor today.

Born in 1716 in Kirkharle, Northumberland, Brown is best known for his work across many of the country’s grandest stately homes. The 1st Duke of Northumberland engaged Brown in 1754 to landscape the parklands of his west London property, Syon House. They often dined together there, and by 1769 Brown had formed a plan for the landscape opposite Alnwick Castle.

The style of his design could be mistaken as natural landscape and that is certainly true of his work at Alnwick.  The view across the River Aln from the castle is both serene and spectacular, enjoyed by thousands of visitors every year.

Visitors to Alnwick Castle in 2016 can enjoy this new exhibition, which is situated inside the Saloon, one of the State Rooms with an unparalleled view of Brown's works, and outside on the Castle's Gun Terrace, where large frames allow visitors to put themselves inside the landscape. 

As Collections & Archives Manager Clare Baxter explains, "the exhibition encourages the visitor to take time to look carefully at the landscape at Alnwick and imagine what transformation took place by understanding the techniques used, how the work was achieved and why. The design of the exhibition is inspired by the idea of looking at a picture on an artist's easel, drawing attention to the 'painterly' nature of the Arcadian landscape designed by 'Capability' Brown.",

This exhibition forms part of the Capability Brown 300 project, where sites across the country celebrate this important anniversary of one of Northumberland, and England's, greatest landscape designers.

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Related info

Tim Scott Bolton will deliver a fascinating talk on the life of Brown on the evening of Wednesday 8th June in the newly refurbished Guest Hall at Alnwick Castle. See our 'What's On' page for more details.