Shakespeare and ‘Capability’ Brown at Compton Verney

Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park in south Warwickshire has now opened for the 2016 season with two stunning and well received exhibitions: SHAKESPEARE IN ART – Tempests, Tyrants and Tragedy, and BOYDELL’S VISION – The Shakespeare Gallery in the 18th Century.

It is clear that these exhibitions were scheduled to coincide with the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, but in addition to those mentioned, there is another anniversary to explore, to discover and enjoy this year at Compton Verney.

Once called the Shakespeare of Gardening, the man is none other than Landscape Gardener Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, who in the 18th century brought sweeping changes not only to Compton Verney, but also to more than 200 other landscapes across the land. Twenty sixteen is the 300th anniversary of Brown’s birth and Compton Verney becomes a regional ‘hub’ landscape, joining other landscape gardens for a year of celebration.


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

Naturally, a number of our events this year now have a Brown or landscape theme, the flagship of which is a full weekend given over to the Georgian era. On the 25th and 26th of June costumed Georgian folk will move into the mansion and galleries, whilst others will be stationed outdoors to illustrate how the landscape was created, managed and enjoyed during the 18th century and beyond.

A host of additional activities during the season include:

  • Georgian style afternoon ‘Capabili-Teas’ in The Lawn Restaurant
  • Capability Brown Tours on the first Thursday of every month, at 1.30pm. (The August 4th tour will be Family Focused.)
  • Park in Focus Tours, every day from Tuesday 21st June to Saturday 16th July.
  • ‘Capability Brown’ at Compton Verney, Gallery L display, including a bronze resin bust of Brown by Robert Page, an RBSA artist. (Exhibition Day Ticket required)
  • Landscape Hub – Gallery A, includes information on Capability Brown at Compton Verney and information on his nearest landscape locations. From May, the hub will also feature images from our landscape photography group competition.
  • Regency Ball, on the Saturday evening of the Georgian Weekend, 25th June.

And much, much more… Click Here!


In addition to the planned activity we are strengthening the park offer with newly restored buggy and wheelchair-friendly pathways and in a reclaimed ‘Wilderness Area’ we have installed a pond dipping platform and bird-hide. Furthermore, from the end of April the new welcome centre will open with refreshment area, shop and an interpretation room with newly produced introductory film.


Family Activities @ComptonVerney 

If you’re intrigued by Capability Brown, are planning your outings for the season, or simply wish to experience a beautiful and cared for landscape, then I hope there’s enough here to temp you. As always, please check the Compton Verney website prior to visiting.

Best wishes for the growing season.

Gary Webb

Head of Landscape and Gardens, Compton Verney. #CVgrounds


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