Brown at Croome: a moving experience?
THE National Trust’s Croome Property Manager has carefully but vigorously revealed Capability Brown’s first great landscape and architectural commission (Letters, October 19). The ambience and 18thcentury feel of this lovely landscape, looking across to the Malvern Hills, is a far cry from the dereliction and arable fields of but a few years ago.
Old routes, such as the ‘drive’ used to convey people the mile from Croome Court to Robert Adam’s Park Seat and the track for carts delivering picnics to the Temple Greenhouse (illustrated last week) must not be homogenised into a sort of inner ring road.
There is a danger that unbounded enthusiasm for the National Trust’s newly stated values will now damage a triumphant achievement. Walking: yes. Cycling: elsewhere, please—at the Trust’s Baddesley Clinton, perhaps? Jeffrey Haworth, Chairman of Hereford and Worcester Gardens Trust
IREAD with quite some interest Athena’s article regarding the National Trust’s plan for a cycle track at Croome (October 5). As someone who’s been heavily involved in this year’s Capability Brown tercentenary celebrations, one of the major challenges has been to inspire a new audience to fall in love with Brown’s landscapes and this kind of sports-based intervention has the potential to do that.
After all, aspects of his landscapes were designed to be enjoyed on the move and a cycle path is an intelligent response to the challenge of helping visitors to experience the landscape in as authentic a way as possible.
In embracing the manmade contours of Brown’s most important commission, I believe that this cycle path will allow visitors to enjoy an incredible historic asset in a whole new way and finally to realise the sheer scale of his achievement. Dr Oliver Cox, Heritage Engagement Fellow, Oxfordshire