Lancelot `Capability` Brown and The Backs Cambridge ty`

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Lancelot `Capability` Brown and The Backs Cambridge ty`
The Walks
The
The
The
Walks
Walks
Walks
The
Walks walk
The suggested
mapped in red (2km, 1¼
The
The
The
suggested
suggested
suggested
walk
walk
walk
mapped
mapped
mapped
in inred
in
red(2km,
red
(2km,
(2km,
1¼1¼1¼
miles)
enters
the
grounds
of King’s
and(2km,
St John’s
The
suggested
walk
mapped
in
red
1¼
miles)
miles)
miles)
enters
enters
enters
thethe
grounds
the
grounds
grounds
of of
King’s
of
King’s
King’s
and
and
St
and
St
John’s
St
John’s
John’s
Colleges,
for which
a fee may
be payable
(for
fees
miles)
enters
the
grounds
of
King’s
and
St
John’s
Colleges,
Colleges,
Colleges,
forfor
which
for
which
which
a fee
a fee
amay
fee
may
may
bebe
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be
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payable
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(for
fees
fees
& opening
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check
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payable
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times
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the‘Visitor
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at at at
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times check the ‘Visitor Guide’ at
http://www.cam.ac.uk/about-the-university/visitinghttp://www.cam.ac.uk/about-the-university/visitingthe-university).
An alternative route shown in
http://www.cam.ac.uk/about-the-university/visitingthe-university).
the-university).
the-university).
AnAnalternative
Analternative
alternative
route
route
route
shown
shown
shown
in in in
yellow
is
of
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length
and with
free access
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Anlength
alternative
route
shown
in via
yellow
yellow
yellow
is is
of of
is
similar
similar
of similar
length
length
and
and
with
and
with
free
with
free
access
free
access
access
viavia
Silver
Street
and
Garret
Hostel
Lane.
yellow
is
of
similar
length
and
with
free
access
via
Silver
Silver
Silver
Street
Street
Street
and
and
Garret
and
Garret
Garret
Hostel
Hostel
Hostel
Lane.
Lane.
Lane.
Silver Street and Garret Hostel Lane.
Í Í Í Í NORTH
Í NORTH
NORTH
NORTH
NORTH
St John’s
College St John’s
St John’s
St John’s
College College College St John’s
Ì College ÌÌ Ì
Ì
Ð Ð Ð Ð Ì Ð ÌÌ Ì
Ì
The life of Lancelot Brown
The
The
The
life
life
life
ofof
Lancelot
of
Lancelot
Lancelot
Brown
Brown
Brown
The –life
ofKirkharle,
Lancelot
Brown
1716
Born
Northumberland
1716
1716
1716
– Born
– Born
– Born
Kirkharle,
Kirkharle,
Kirkharle,
Northumberland
Northumberland
thNorthumberland
Baptised
30
August
th August
th August
thNorthumberland
1716 –Baptised
Born
Kirkharle,
Baptised
Baptised
3030
30
August
th
1732 – Apprenticed
toAugust
’trade crafte or misterie
Baptised
30
1732
1732
1732
– Apprenticed
– Apprenticed
– Apprenticed
to to
’trade
to
’trade
’trade
crafte
crafte
crafte
or or
misterie
or
misterie
misterie
of gardening’to ’trade crafte or misterie
1732 –ofApprenticed
of
gardening’
of
gardening’
gardening’
1739 – Moved
south to Stowe, then to
of
gardening’
1739
1739
1739
– Moved
– Moved
– Moved
south
south
south
to to
Stowe,
to
Stowe,
Stowe,
then
then
then
to to to
Hammersmith
toStowe,
set upthen
on his
own
1739 –Hammersmith
Moved
south
to
to
Hammersmith
Hammersmith
to to
setto
set
up
set
up
onup
on
his
on
his
own
his
own
own
account,
creating
over
250
garden
works
Hammersmith
to
set
up250
on
hisgarden
own
account,
account,
account,
creating
creating
creating
over
over
over
250
garden
250
garden
works
works
works
1764 – Appointed
Master over
Gardener
at Hampton
account,
creating
250
garden
works
1764
1764
1764
– Appointed
– Appointed
– Appointed
Master
Master
Master
Gardener
Gardener
Gardener
at at
Hampton
at
Hampton
Hampton
Court Palace
1764 –Court
Appointed
Master Gardener at Hampton
Court
Court
Palace
Palace
Palace
1767 – Purchased
Manor of Fenstanton & Hilton
Court
Palace
1767
1767
1767
– Purchased
– Purchased
– Purchased
Manor
Manor
Manor
of of
Fenstanton
of
Fenstanton
Fenstanton
& Hilton
& Hilton
& Hilton
1772
appears
on of
StFenstanton
John’s College
1767 – Brown
Purchased
Manor
& Hilton
1772
1772
1772
– Brown
– Brown
– Brown
appears
appears
appears
onon
Ston
St
John’s
St
John’s
John’s
College
College
College
Order to
repair riverbank
1772 –Order
Brown
appears
onriverbank
St John’s College
Order
Order
to to
repair
to
repair
repair
riverbank
riverbank
1773 – Brown
invited
toriverbank
produce a scheme for
Order
to
repair
1773
1773
1773
– Brown
– Brown
– Brown
invited
invited
invited
to to
produce
to
produce
produce
a scheme
a scheme
a scheme
forforfor
St John’s
College
gardens
1773 –StBrown
invited
to
produce
a
scheme
for
StJohn’s
St
John’s
John’s
College
College
College
gardens
gardens
gardens
1778 – Brown
paidCollege
a ‘piecegardens
of plate to the value
St
John’s
1778
1778
1778
– Brown
– Brown
– Brown
paid
paid
paid
a ‘piece
a ‘piece
a ‘piece
of of
plate
of
plate
plate
to to
theto
the
value
the
value
value
of £50 paid
for improving
the
walks’
1778 –ofBrown
a
‘piece
of
plate
to
the
value
of
£50
of
£50
for
£50
for
improving
for
improving
improving
thethe
walks’
the
walks’
walks’
of £50 for improving the walks’
Garret Hostel Lane
Garret Hostel Lane
Garret Hostel Lane
Garret Hostel Lane
Garret Hostel Lane
Î
ÎÎ Î
Î
King’s
Ê King’s
King’s
King’s
College
Ì
Ê Ê Ê College
College
College
King’s
ÌÌ Ì
College Ê Ì
Ï
ÏÏ Ï
Ï
Basemap data © 2015 Google, Image © 2015 Infoterra Ltd & Bluesky Basemap data © 2015 Google, Image © 2015 Infoterra Ltd & Bluesky Basemap data © 2015 Google, Image © 2015 Infoterra Ltd & Bluesky Basemap data © 2015 Google, Image © 2015 Infoterra Ltd & Bluesky Basemap data © 2015 Google, Image © 2015 Infoterra Ltd & Bluesky Brown’s plan for The Backs, 1779
Brown’s
Brown’s
Brown’s
plan
plan
plan
forfor
The
for
The
Backs,
The
Backs,
Backs,
1779
1779
1779
1779 –Brown’s
University
Chancellor
invited 1779
Brown to
plan
for The Backs,
1779
1779
1779
– University
– University
– University
Chancellor
Chancellor
Chancellor
invited
invited
invited
Brown
Brown
Brown
to to to
do ‘some alterations’
for
The Brown
Backs to
1779 –doUniversity
Chancellor
invited
do
‘some
do
‘some
‘some
alterations’
alterations’
alterations’
forfor
The
for
The
Backs
The
Backs
Backs
(plan
in Cambridge
University
Library)
do
‘some
for
TheLibrary)
Backs
(plan
(plan
(plan
in in
Cambridge
Cambridge
in alterations’
Cambridge
University
University
University
Library)
Library)
th February. Buried in Fenstanton
1783 – Died
6
(plan
in
Cambridge
University
Library)
th
th
th
February.
Buried
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in in
Fenstanton
Fenstanton
in Fenstanton
1783
1783
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ain
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in
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Cambridgeshire Gardens Trust to celebrate by
theby
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by
Cambridgeshire
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Gardens
Gardens
Gardens
Trust
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Trust
toand
to
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to
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celebrate
thethe
the
tercentenary
of
Lancelot
Brown
sponsored
by
Cambridgeshire
Trust
to
celebrate
theby
tercentenary
tercentenary
tercentenary
of Lancelot
of Lancelot
ofGardens
Lancelot
Brown
Brown
Brown
andand
sponsored
and
sponsored
sponsored
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materials
Specialist
tercentenaryinofnatural
Lancelotlandscaping
Brown and sponsored
by
in natural
in natural
in natural
landscaping
landscaping
landscaping
materials
materials
materials
Specialist
Specialist
Specialist
Capability Barns, Huntingdon Road, Fen Drayton,
in natural
landscaping materials
Specialist
Capability Barns, Huntingdon Road, Fen Drayton,
Capability Barns, Huntingdon Road, Fen Drayton,
Capability Barns, Huntingdon Road, Fen Drayton,
Cambs, CB24 4SD 01954 231666 www.bannold.co.uk
Capability Barns, Huntingdon Road, Fen Drayton,
Cambs, CB24 4SD Cambs, CB24 4SD Cambs, CB24 4SD 01954 231666
01954 231666
01954 231666
www.bannold.co.uk
www.bannold.co.uk
www.bannold.co.uk
Cambs, CB24 4SD 01954 231666 www.bannold.co.uk
Lancelot
‘Capability’
Lancelot
Lancelot
Lancelot
‘Capability’
‘Capability’
‘Capability’
Lancelot
‘Capability’
Brown
and
The
Brown
Brown
Brown
and
and
and
The
The
The
Brown
and
The
Backs
Cambridge
Backs
Backs
Backs
Cambridge
Cambridge
Cambridge
Backs Cambridge
1. Gibbs’ Fellows’ Building, King’s College
1. 1.
Gibbs’
1.
Gibbs’
Gibbs’
Fellows’
Fellows’
Fellows’
Building,
Building,
Building,
King’s
King’s
King’s
College
College
College
1.
Building,
King’sofCollege
In Gibbs’
RomanFellows’
times the
hinterlands
Cambridge
In In
Roman
In
Roman
Roman
times
times
times
thethe
hinterlands
the
hinterlands
hinterlands
of of
Cambridge
of
Cambridge
Cambridge
Colleges
were
marshes
and
water
meadows.
InColleges
Roman
times
the hinterlands
ofmeadows.
Cambridge
Colleges
Colleges
were
were
were
marshes
marshes
marshes
and
and
and
water
water
water
meadows.
meadows.
Between
1086marshes
and 1279
the river
was
Colleges
were
and
water
meadows.
Between
Between
Between
1086
1086
1086
and
and
and
1279
1279
1279
thethethe
river
river
river
was
was
was
canalised
and
straightened
to
make
wharves
Between
1086
and 1279
the
river
was
canalised
canalised
canalised
and
and
and
straightened
straightened
straightened
to to
make
to
make
make
wharves
wharves
wharves
for
salt, and
flax straightened
and corn which
was
then
canalised
to
make
wharves
forfor
for
salt,
salt,
salt,
flax
flaxflax
and
and
and
corn
corn
corn
which
which
which
was
was
was
then
then
then
transported
along
lanes
connected
to
the
for
salt,
flax
and
corn
which
was
then
transported
transported
transported
along
along
along
lanes
lanes
lanes
connected
connected
connected
to tothe
tothethe
market.
By
1500
the
town
was
alive
with
transported
along
connected
to
the
market.
market.
market.
ByBy1500
By1500
1500
thethelanes
the
town
town
town
was
was
was
alive
alive
alive
with
with
with
commerce
and
the
Stourbridge
Fair
held
near
market.
By
1500
the
townFair
was
alive
with
commerce
commerce
commerce
and
and
the
and
the
Stourbridge
the
Stourbridge
Stourbridge
Fair
Fair
held
held
held
near
near
near
the
Leper’s and
Chapel
was
the largest
inheld
Europe.
commerce
the
Stourbridge
Fair
near
thethe
Leper’s
the
Leper’s
Leper’s
Chapel
Chapel
Chapel
was
was
was
thethe
largest
the
largest
largest
in in
Europe.
Europe.
in Europe.
th century
the
Leper’s
Chapel
was
the largest
in Europe.
From
theth14
monastic
houses
and the
th century
th century
From
From
From
thethe
14
the
14century
14
monastic
monastic
monastic
houses
houses
houses
and
and
the
and
thethe
colleges
transformed
the townhouses
by acquiring
th century monastic
From
the
14
and the
colleges
colleges
colleges
transformed
transformed
transformed
thethethe
town
town
town
bybyacquiring
byacquiring
acquiring
land
and transformed
gradually removing
the wharves.
For
colleges
thethetown
by
acquiring
land
land
land
and
and
and
gradually
gradually
gradually
removing
removing
removing
the
wharves.
the
wharves.
wharves.
For
ForFor
example,
Henry
VI
took
land
to
build
King’s
land
and
gradually
removing
wharves.
For
example,
example,
example,
Henry
Henry
Henry
VIVItook
VI
took
took
land
land
land
to the
tobuild
to
build
build
King’s
King’s
King’s
College
Chapel.
Over
time
this
reduced
the
example,
Henry
VIOver
took
land
to
buildthe
King’s
College
College
College
Chapel.
Chapel.
Chapel.
Over
Over
time
time
time
this
thisthis
reduced
reduced
reduced
thethe
economic
wellbeing
of
the
town
and
the
College
Chapel.
Over
this
reduced
economic
economic
economic
wellbeing
wellbeing
wellbeing
of ofthe
oftime
thethe
town
town
town
and
and
and
thethethe
the
colleges
were
able to ofincrease
their and
holdings
economic
wellbeing
thetheir
town
the
colleges
colleges
colleges
were
were
were
able
able
able
to toincrease
to
increase
increase
their
their
holdings
holdings
holdings
further.
David
Loggan’s
map of 1688
(2)
shows
colleges
were
able map
tomap
increase
their
holdings
further.
further.
further.
David
David
David
Loggan’s
Loggan’s
Loggan’s
map
of of
1688
of
1688
1688
(2)
(2)
shows
(2)
shows
shows
the
college
acquisitions
west
of
the
River
Cam.
further.
David
Loggan’s
map
of
1688
(2)
shows
thethe
college
the
college
college
acquisitions
acquisitions
acquisitions
west
west
west
of of
the
of
the
River
the
River
River
Cam.
Cam.
Cam.
the college acquisitions west of the River Cam.
NORTH 
St John’s
Trinity Clare King’s Queens’
2. David Loggan’s map of Cambridge, 1688
In 1765 a new bridge, designed by James
Essex, was built by Trinity College as part of
the colleges’ continuing land purchases. In
the 1760s and 1770s the floodplain land was
turfed to create lawns and the area became
known as ‘The Backs’ (3).
3. The lawned Backs
‘beautiful Colleges, groves, gardens and green
fields lying on the banks of the river ... agreeably
intermixed; and the stone bridges of several
Colleges over the river add to the beauty of it.’
Cantabrigia Depicta, Jeremy Bentham, 1763
The Colleges were evolving as separate entities
with different formal garden design principles
applied to each segment of the Backs. Thus,
Lancelot Brown was first approached by St
John’s and worked from 1773-78 on preparing
plans for the College Gardens (4).
In his capacity as
University Chancellor,
the Duke of Grafton
invited Brown in 1779
to suggest ‘Some
Alterations’ to the
Backs as a whole.
Brown proposed that
the single landscapes 4. St John’s College
Garden Gates
be unified into one
park with four separate paddocks; widening the
river to create a lake; and removing formal
avenues, college bridges (5,6,7) and boundaries.
6. King’s Bridge (1819)
5. Clare Bridge (1640)
7. Trinity Bridge (1765)
The unified park landscape would be focused
on James Gibbs’ Fellows’ Building (1) at
King’s College, with neighbouring buildings of
Trinity and Clare Colleges featuring as
secondary outbuildings. Whilst Brown was
praised for his paper plan (overleaf) and doing
‘wonders on a plain surface’, the Colleges
could not agree on his radical vision of a
surrogate mansion in a park landscape and
the plan was never realised. Brown was
presented with a silver salver for his efforts.

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