New 'Capability' Brown exhibition

'Capability' Brown at Croome: A Creative Collection is a new exhibition in the house celebrating the 300th birth year of the famous 18th century landscape designer.

The exhibition 'Capability Brown at Croome: A Creative Collaborative' at Croome Court, near Worcester, tells the story of the estate’s revolutionary transformation at the hands of the 6th Earl of Coventry and Brown.

The fascinating story charts the journey of the 6th Earl of Coventry, who inherited Croome aged 28, and his relationship with Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown. 

A view of the lakeside taken in 1862
A view of the lakeside taken in 1862

Historic maps, archive material and interactive installations chronicles the development of Croome’s marshland called ‘Seggy Mere’ into a beautiful and natural looking English landscape, which was copied by other country estates throughout Britain and Europe.

John Snape’s 1796 map of Croome Park
John Snape’s 1796 map of Croome Park

‘Capability’ Brown was commissioned in 1751 by the Earl of Coventry who wanted his park and house to be redesigned at the cutting edge of taste and modern design.

Follow this journey through history into the Saloon and Drawing Room of the house.  An interactive sandbox, allows you to mould your own landscape and a projection shows the contours of the landscape you've created. 

Sculpt your own landscape in the interactive sandbox
Sculpting a landscape in the interactive sandbox

Stepping under a sound dome listen to descriptions of some of the plant and building materials from the 18th century or see extracts from the Hortus Croomensis on display.

Pages of the Hortus Croomensis
Pages of the Hortus Croomensis


Three paintings proudly hang in the exhibition.

Two have returned to Croome after a 76 year absence. 

Paintings hang proudly in the Drawing Room
Visitor looking at the paintings

One is of the 6th Earl of Coventry cutting a handsome figure in his red velvet coat painted by Allan Ramsay in 1765.  It is the most iconic of all the portraits of the 6th Earl and shows him at the height of his power and influence.

The second painting, by Richard Wilson painted in 1758, is thought to be the first painting of a Brownian landscape.  It depicted Croome as it would look in the future as at the time of it being painted the estate was a building site.  The parkland was not to reach maturity for another 100 years.

The third painting, on loan from the National Portrait Gallery, is the most famous portrait of ‘Capability’ Brown.  It shows him with sparkling eyes and slightly cocked head giving him an approachable and relaxed air.   

The exhibition ran from Sunday 25 September through to the end of March 2017.

Visitor studying the 'Capability' Brown exhibits
Croome visitor at Capability Brown exhibition
" ‘Capability’ Brown... so named for stating his clients’ estates had ‘capabilities’"
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