Brown on the Box with Alan Titchmarsh

Alan Titchmarsh celebrates the 300th anniversary of his horticultural hero by helping create one of Brown’s lost masterpieces at Belvoir Castle, Leicestershire…
A major new documentary series about Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown and his landscapes starts on More4 at 9pm, on Thursday 17 September.


Brown, often called the ‘father of landscape architecture,’ changed the national landscape. He moved hills, and sometimes even entire villages, to create the serpentine waterways and rolling vistas that have come to epitomise the English countryside ideal.

Next year marks the 300th anniversary of Brown’s birth, which is being marked by our nationwide Festival. It will encourage new audiences to visit, learn about, and enjoy his landscapes, and is managed by the Landscape Institute.

The More4 three-part series starts at 9pm on 17 September. Called Titchmarsh on Capability Brown, it is hosted by gardener and broadcaster Alan Titchmarsh, and produced by Spun Gold.

The first episode follows the Duchess of Rutland’s work to bring Brown’s original, unexecuted plans for Belvoir Castle’s landscape to life. This work has been documented in the Duchess’ new book, Capability Brown & Belvoir.

In the programme Alan also travels to Stowe in Buckinghamshire, cared for by the National Trust and one of Brown’s first big commissions, and Kirkhale in Northumberland, where Brown was born and learned his trade.

It has not yet been confirmed which Brown sites will feature in the next two episodes, although Titchmarsh is pictured above filming in Fenstanton, Cambridgeshire, where Brown was Lord of the Manor. Brown is also buried in the village churchyard. The series also features leading Brown expert John Phibbs, who has just started a new blog about Brown.

Ceryl Evans, Director of the Capability Brown Festival 2016, said: “It’s fantastic to see Capability Brown sites getting such good exposure, and I’m sure the programmes will really spark interest in him, and the Capability Brown Festival 2016. We’re really excited about what’s in store for next year.”

The Festival has been funded by a £911,100 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

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Painswick Roccoco Gardens, the Red House, Photo © Joab Smith