‘Capability’ Brown – Start Your Voyage of Discovery!

A steady trickle of media articles concerning Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown is building to quite a flow at the moment as the 2016 Festival Year picks up pace. For many people it will be enough to read an article or two, and in doing so build an appreciation of Mr Brown and his work. For others opportunity might arise to read an information panel at one of the many ‘hub’ landscapes such as Compton Verney, Croome or Weston Park.

But, what if you want to know more, want to learn more about Lancelot, his life and times – where can you start?

Well, there are many reference books and websites offering information, so here’s a list of some that I’ve found helpful in my discovery of Capability Brown. The list isn’t exhaustive, especially as more titles and articles are being added frequently, it does however offer a good selection and will certainly set you along the carriage drive of Brownian discovery…


  • Capability Brown Festival Website. A great place to learn about the landscape locations with an interactive map, events, activity and much more during the 2016 CB300 festival year: Click Here.
  • Parks & Gardens UK. A very useful website for learning about Brown and other parks and gardens, with a host of information based on solid research from various quarters. Many Brown landscapes are listed, with a monthly focus on specific landscapes: Click Here.
  • Historic Houses Association Capability Brown Micro-Site: Click Here.
  • The Brown Advisor: A weblog of informed articles, as responses to people’s questions about Capability Brown. Worth subscribing to. Click Here.


  • Place-making: The Art of Capability Brown, 1716-1783, John Phibbs. (A 2016 release – this book requires sponsorship, but promises much!) Click Here.
  • Capability Brown, by Dorothy Stroud.  978-0571134052
  • Capability Brown and the English Landscape Garden, paperback, Laura Mayer. (Shire Library). 978-0747810490
  • Capability Brown and the Eighteenth Century English Landscape, Roger Turner. 978-0750953856
  • Capability Brown: And His Landscape Gardens, Sarah Rutherford. Release date 14th April 2016. 978-1909881549
  • Capability Brown – Story of a Master Gardener. Thomas Hinde 978-0091637408
  • Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown: The Omnipotent Magician, Jane Brown. 978-0701182120

As mentioned, this list isn’t exhaustive, and whilst all of the books have the same main theme, each takes a very different approach and all are unique. There are however books to suit most pockets and the most enquiring of minds.

Good luck on your voyage of discovery!!


About Lancelot Capability Brown

Hello and Welcome to my Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown blog! I thrive on the richness and diversity found within our historic gardens and landscapes and I hope through this blog to paint a picture of Lancelot Brown’s 18th Century world, his landscapes and life. I’d like this blog to spread the Brownian word far and wide, so please join in, suggest post subjects, send in potential articles or links to anything and everything with 'Capability'. I’ll also be looking forward to the Capability Brown Tercentenary Celebration of his birth in 2016, and look forward to an incredible year where the work of Brown can receive more praise and recognition than ever before. I've also launched a Twitter account under the title of @Brown2016 where for the next few years I plan to help spread the word and at the very least play my part in the build-up to a special year for all who enjoy landscape gardening in its true form. All views are my own and do not represent those of any organisation.
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