The Orangery: Capability Brown at his best


The family that owns this elegant Georgian estate has English, American and Italian roots which is probably why they fell in love with the Orangery at first sight.  Its classical Roman architecture, its view down to the coast, which could be confused with the Mediterranean and, of course, the garden designed by Capability Brown were major drawcards.

2016 marks the 300th anniversary of the birth of England’s Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown.  Hailed by many to be Britain’s greatest landscape gardener, Brown literally invented and rebuilt the English landscape. Stunning examples of his work can be found at Stowe and Blenheim Palace, where he shunned the formal geometric style of the day by using the natural ebb and flow of the English countryside.

Brown was not one for half measures and would happily move or create a hill, build a lake or even move a village to realise his vision for a landscape.  Ordered walled gardens and beautiful flowerbeds were not part of Brown’s work, he preferred to plant a ‘frame’ of cedars and oaks which naturally directed the eye of the visitor to beautiful long views.

The garden at the Orangery is one of the rare seascapes that Brown created and few people know of its existence.  It was designed on a smaller and more intimate scale than Brown’s other masterpieces, but this doesn’t detract from its grandeur and beauty.   The garden has been painstakingly restored section by section, fusing it with the new owners desire to emphasize both the English tradition and the  Mediterranean influence present in the estate.

Brown liked to plant trees individually or as copses of trees around his gardens, making them appear to be a natural part of the landscape. Examples of this foresight can be seen in the garden he created at the Orangery. Brown’s classic lines of cedars and oaks are cleverly designed so your eyes are drawn to the stunning views across the garden, past the devonshire countryside and down to the coast.

And, let’s not forget the lake.  Brown always included a water feature in his landscapes and, at the Orangery, he built a lake which he hid from the main house by planting birch trees in the shape of a horseshoe.

The Capability Brown Association has launched a Festival that is designed to explore the work of the revolutionary landscaper. The Capability Brown Festival  is a wonderful way for the public to see and appreciate his magnificent gardens, follies, encircling carriage drives and lakes which melt into the English countryside. The Orangery at Mamhead, Stowe, Blenheim Palace, Bowood, Longleat and Harewood House are just a few of the stately homes which should be visited. The full official list can be seen here.




The Orangery, an estate retreat and working rare breed farm where we raise free range Tamworth Pigs – the choice of Michelin Chefs – and rare breed welsh Badger Face sheep, famed for their exceptionally tender meat, flavourful with a touch of sweetness.

Visit the Orangery’s shop which prides itself on selling quality products that evoke luxury through their simplicity and sustainability.  Buy some Tamworth pork and see why Michelin chefs are clamouring for it.  Indulge in some tender, sweet lamb knowing that it has been bred outdoors on a diet of natural grass and wild flowers.

To experience the Orangery, spend a night or two at the Lakehouse, a beautiful New England style cabin decorated in minimalist bohemian style. It is set in woodland, overlooking the lake designed by Capability Brown.  While enjoying your stay at the Lakehouse, you can make an appointment with the estate gardener for a personal tour of the garden or enjoy wonderful walks through the estate's park and woodland, visit the farm or just drift in the sun on a rowboat.  Contact the Orangery for details.

October 13, 2016 by The Orangery
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