Humphry Rep­ton gar­dens

Top seven, na­tion­wide

Countryfile Magazine - - Contents - Dun­can Haskell is a free­lance writer with a pas­sion for birds and ot­ters.

1 SHERINGHAM PARK, NOR­FOLK

Close to Rep­ton’s home in the vil­lage of Sustead is Sheringham Park, per­haps the best-pre­served ex­am­ple of the English­man’s work. His spec­tac­u­lar de­sign flows through a va­ri­ety of habi­tats, such as Bower pond, which bursts into life in sum­mer with azure dam­sel­flies and broad-bod­ied chaser drag­on­flies.

2 ANTONY WOOD­LAND GAR­DEN, CORN­WALL

This lesser-known Rep­ton trea­sure is split into two ar­eas, the Wilder­ness and West Down. It’s in the for­mer – a wooded slope rolling down to the River Lyn­her – that Rep­ton’s in­flu­ence is most prom­i­nent, de­signed along­side his friend Reginald Pole-Carew.

3 ATTINGHAM PARK, SHROP­SHIRE

A cir­cu­lar trail through Attingham Park, nick­named the ‘Rep­ton Ram­ble’, of­fers vis­i­tors a flavour of the har­mo­nious land­scapes that the de­signer en­vis­aged for the 18th-cen­tury man­sion and es­tate. The loop in­cludes a stop at The Rep­ton Oak, a tree planted by the man him­self.

4 WOBURN ABBEY, BED­FORD­SHIRE

Open to the pub­lic since 1955, the gar­dens at Woburn Abbey are rich with Rep­ton in­flu­ence. A par­tic­u­lar high­light is the re­con­structed Cone House, orig­i­nally de­signed as a plat­form from which the Duke of Bedford, his fam­ily and their guests could safely watch the wild an­i­mals of their menagerie.

5 HATCHLANDS PARK, SUR­REY

The rolling green of Hatchlands Park was partly land­scaped by Rep­ton. Na­tional Trust gar­den­ers de­serve great credit for their ef­forts to not only pro­tect the de­signer’s work but to recre­ate his orig­i­nal plan – most re­cently with the plant­ing of oaks, sweet chestnuts, limes and horn­beams.

6 TAT­TON PARK, CHESHIRE

De­spite be­ing a deer park since 1290, the ap­pear­ance of Tat­ton to­day is due to the work of Rep­ton. A stroll through the park’s beech-lined av­enues is well worth it and, in June, you can take part in a Rep­ton-themed cy­cle ride, led by head gar­dener Si­mon Tet­low.

7 UPPARK HOUSE AND GAR­DEN, WEST SUS­SEX

This prop­erty was graced by the hands of both Rep­ton and ‘Ca­pa­bil­ity’ Brown (whose wide glade is a pic­nic spot worth know­ing about). On sunny days, the café sets up ta­bles and chairs on the grass with views out over the South Downs.

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