Humpry Repton Garden Design Exhibition at Gotts Park, Leeds

By John Brennan, 02/05/2019

Humpry Repton Garden Design Exhibition at Gotts Park, Leeds

If you’re interested in the history of garden design there’s an exhibition on at the moment at Gott’s Park, in Armley, Leeds tracing the life and works of the 18th century landscape designer Humphry Repton. The exhibition focuses on his commission for Benjamin Gott at Armley House (now Gotts Park).

Repton followed in the footsteps of Capabiblity Brown and the naturalistic landscape style of gardening. Many of his commissions were for the country house and stately homes of England and followed this style with rolling acreage and endless vistas. Many of the 400 commissions he took during a 30-year career were to design the land around aristocratic family seats, including grounds at Betchworth House in Surrey, Longleat, Brighton’s Royal Pavillion, Tatton Park and at Woburn Abbey.

But he also pushed against the romantic trend for faux wilderness, bringing back terraces, gravel walks and flower beds with ornamental or themed planting around the house and that could be said to give birth to the modern suburban garden.

Repton also became renowned for his “red books”, folios of his drawings. Much like the designs produced today by modern garden designers, he would present plans and descriptions with his ideas for the new designs and have watercolours with overlays showing “before” and “after” views.

A digital animation of the Armley Red Book will be on display at Gotts Park.

So if you’re interested details can be found at www.wadescharity.org/repton.php, it’s on until 30th April and admission is free.

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