What’s on : Lectures

Humphry Repton, landscape gardener (1752-1818) and his Yorkshire Commissions

8 May 2018
Start time
7:30 PM
Tempest Anderson Hall
Dr Patrick Eyres

Event Information

Humphry Repton, landscape gardener (1752-1818) and his Yorkshire Commissions

Dr Patrick Eyres

This is a joint lecture with the Yorkshire Gardens Trust to mark the bicentenary of Repton’s death

Please note that this is a ticketed event with priority booking for YPS and YGT members. If there is room on the evening non ticket holders will be admitted.

Tickets available for YPS members from Frances Chambers at The Lodge or at the lecture on Tuesday 24th April.

On the Spot: the Yorkshire Red Books of Humphry Repton, landscape gardener by Dr Patrick Eyre and Karen Lynch

This new book will be launched during the evening and copies will be available for purchase

Image from Humphry Repton’s Red Book for Oulton Hall courtesy of West Yorkshire Archive Service WYL/160/179/1

Member’s report

Determined to become the landscape designer of choice after Capability Brown died in 1783, Repton embarked on a programme of consummate self-promotion, advertising in Peacock’s Polite Repository or Pocket Companion, and printing trade cards to send to landowners everywhere. He secured over 100 commissions in the 1790s, and despite a struggling economy during the Napoleonic wars, some 400 in total. Uniquely, he issued his proposed designs in books bound in red morocco – the famous Red Books – with ‘before and after’ watercolours cleverly incorporating hinged flaps to illustrate the undistinguished present and the delightful future. There were nine Yorkshire commissions of which Red Books survive for six: Wentworth Woodhouse (1790-94); Owston Hall, Doncaster, and Mulgrave Castle, Whitby (1792); Harewood House (1800); and Oulton Hall and Armley House both near Leeds (1809-10). The other three were Rudding Park (1790), Bessacre (Bessacarr) Manor, Doncaster (1792), and Langold Hall near Rotherham (1805-6). As a consultant rather than a contractor, Repton left his clients to execute his designs, and therefore many did not come to fruition. He was particularly dismayed that Harewood was never realised.

Bob Hale