Conference: Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown and Designed Landscapes in Essex

As part of the Capability Brown Tercentenary year celebrations this day conference will explore Brown’s contribution to the gardens of historic houses in Essex, and the wider issues of the understanding, management, and restoration of designed landscapes in the county, and beyond. Chaired by Dr Liz Lake,  the conference will include a keynote session by garden historian and author Dr Twigs Way, and talks by Dr Sarah Rutherford, author of the recently published book, ‘Capability Brown: Father of Landscape Gardens’, as well as local experts. A guided tour of the landscape at Audley End will also be available.

A light lunch will be provided.

Conference Programme

  • Dr Twigs Way (Garden Historian and Historic Landscape Consultant) - Keynote talk on Brown's Life and Career
  • Michael Leach (Essex Gardens Trust) - Brown's Sites in Essex
  • Magnus Alexander (Historic England) - Capability in Context: Recent English Heritage Research at Audley End
  • Dr Sarah Rutherford (Garden Historian and Historic Landscape Consultant) - Browning Hatfield Forest
  • Simon Cranmer (National Trust) - Every Step Counts: Managing Visitor Capacity in a Medieval and Brown Landscape
  • Kate Harwood (Hertfordshire Gardens Trust) - Restored to Glory? Restoration of Historic Parks and Gardens: a Hertfordshire Perspective
  • Fiona Wells (Historic Landscape Consultant) - Bats, Beetles and Brown: the Conservation Importance of Designed Landscapes
  • Guided Tour of the grounds of Audley End led by Magnus Alexander (Historic England)

* 10% discount will apply for members of the Essex Gardens Trust and a number of free places are available for Writtle students on the BSc (Hons) Landscape Architecture and BSc (Hons) Landscape and Garden Design courses. For more information email

Book a place on this course

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