Haycock Environmental Consultants Limited

Independent Hydrologist and  Waterscape Consultants

Celebrating Lancelot Brown (1716-1783)

We are pleased that the UKs national institutions are building up to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Lancelot Brown in 2016. A celebrated landscape gardener and gifted soil and water engineer, with a team of surveyors and foremen, he created some of the most iconic garden landscapes in the UK. For further information on the celebrations, please go to www.capabilitybrown.org.



Over the coming months, we hope to include information in this page on the work we have done on a range of Brownian Landscapes, from Croome Landscape Park to Wrest Park.


Croome Park
Croome Park
Croome Park
Croome Park
Croome Park
Croome Park
Croome Park
Croome Park

2003, dredging starts on Croome Lake

Desilting Croome River, 2003

Croome River almost completed

Croome River refloated with banks restored and stonework repaired.

Dredged material worked into arable land and planted to pasture

Tractor driver remembers his father ploughing up the park for WWII

Croome River refloated with banks restored the Court visible again

Croome Lake refloated with banks restored the Court visible again

Croome Landscape Park (1999-2006): Heritage Lottery Fund

In late 1999, Dr Haycock accompanied a small party of National Trust staff and visited Croome Court to assess the condition of the estate and determine whether funds could be hurriedly gathered to stop the Park from being converted into a golf course. With the assistance of Croome Estate (lead by Pip Webster), monies were secured and Croome Park entered into the National Trust portfolio of Estate in 2000.


With the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund (2002-) and the determination of National Trust staff (notably Tom Oliver) the restoration project started for one of Brown's first commissioned landscapes. Croome was a site where he had to work hard to secure enough water to create some massive water features and build his first Serpentine Water, based on the vision of the Earl of Coventry, but with a little bit of inspiration from Queen Caroline's restoration of Hyde Park Lakes in 1730 (The Serpentine). Brown had a life long relationship with the Park and worked extensively on the project from 1760-1782. Brown died at the Earl of Coventry’s London residence in 1783. Brown had a life long relationship with many estates and was constantly refining and advising estate gardeners on improvements. His summer tours around the country reviewed existing and new projects and he was a welcome guest at many houses. The advice he gave gardeners and foremen was seldom written down, mapped or drawn and we very rarely have an opportunity to see how his ideas evolved. Maps recently found at Belvoir Castle offer an insight into his depth of planning. Croome offered an opportunity to uncover the layers of changes made to the estate over 20 years as he contemplated and planned the three phases of work. Some of these phases were not completed until 1792 with the final elements of the drainage works completed by Snape (Canal Engineer) and others.


The restoration project from 2001-2005 involved restoring the water features, Croome Lake and Croome River, and ensuring enough water could be gathered to sustain these habitats from adjoining catchments. The quality of the water needed to be improved, with agricultural and motorway runoff having degraded the water over many years. Three interception wetlands were created, Lickmoor, Snape and Menagerie, to filter the water before it passed into the Croome Lake and River. The 6 hectares of new wetlands were merged into the Brownian Landscape by the project team under the leadership of Nick Haycock. Croome Lake and River was dredged in 2003 and 2005 with a total of 92 000 cubic metres of material spread onto arable land next to the lake. These fields were then laid down to conservation grassland pasture as originally intended by Brown. The hydrological and hydro-chemical restoration plan for the water features was very challenging, with inflows as little as 1 litre / second in the summer but peak inflows from the clay soils being in excess of 2000 litres per second.


The restoration of the Park is still ongoing and many of the planting plans for the Park are still being refined. The Park's visitors have grown from 25 000 in 2005 to >150 000 in 2011. Many visitors will not appreciate the state of the Park in 2000, nor the restoration effort that took place. Many will not know about the drainage and wetlands that keep the lakes clean, and that is wonderful, since we can now all focus on Croome and how Brown intended it to look.


The images below highlight stages of that journey from 2000-2006.


2011 Book on the works of Brown written by Jane Brown (no relation). Excellent historical review of his work and methods

Catherine Gordon's history of the Coventry family and their ownership of Croome.

BBC2 Hidden Garden's series (January 2004) with Chris Beardshaw and Nick Haycock in 2003 before work starts. The book contains chaper on Croome.

Addington Palace, Greater London

Allerton Park, North Yorkshire

Alnwick Castle, Northumberland

Althorp, Northamptonshire

Ampthill Park, Bedfordshire

Appuldurcombe, Isle of Wight (UA)

Ashburnham Place, East Sussex

Ashridge, Hertfordshire

Aske Hall, North Yorkshire

Audley End, Essex

Aynhoe Park, Northamptonshire

Backs, The, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

Badminton, South Gloucestershire (UA)

Basildon Park, West Berkshire (UA)

Belhus Park, Thurrock (UA)

Belvoir Castle, Rutland (UA)

Benham Park, West Berkshire (UA)

Berrington Hall, Herefordshire (UA)

Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire

Bowood, Wiltshire

Brightling Park, East Sussex

Broadlands, Hampshire

Brocklesby Park, Lincolnshire

Burghley House, Peterborough (UA)

Burton Constable, East Riding of Yorkshire (UA)

Burton Pynsent, Somerset

Cadland House, Hampshire

Cardiff Castle & Bute Park, Cardiff (UA)

Castle Ashby, Northamptonshire

Caversham Park, Reading (UA)

Charlecote Park, Warwickshire

Chatsworth, Derbyshire

Chevening Park, Kent

Chilham Castle, Kent

Chillington, Staffordshire

Clandon, Surrey

Claremont, Surrey

Cliveden, Buckinghamshire

Combe Abbey, Warwickshire

Compton Verney, Warwickshire

Copped Hall, Essex

Corsham Court, Wiltshire

Cowdray House, West Sussex

Crewe Hall, Cheshire

Croome Court, Worcestershire

Danson Park, Greater London

DenhamPlace, Buckinghamshire

Ditchingham Hall, Norfolk

Ditton Park, Windsor & Maidenhead (UA)

Doddington Park, Cheshire

Dodington House, South Gloucestershire (UA)

Eaton Hall, Eccleston, Cheshire

Edgbaston Hall, West Midlands

Elvaston Castle, Derbyshire

Euston Park, Suffolk

Eywood, Herefordshire (UA)

Fawley Court and Temple Island, Buckinghamshire

Fawsley, Northamptonshire

Foots Cray Place, Greater London

Garrick's Villa, Greater London

Gayhurst Court, Milton Keynes (UA)

Grimsthorpe Castle, Lincolnshire

Hainton Hall, Lincolnshire

Hampton Court, Greater London

Harewood House, West Yorkshire

Harleyford, Buckinghamshire

Heveningham Park and Gardens, Suffolk

Highclere Park, Hampshire

Hinton Manor, Oxfordshire

Holkham Hall, Norfolk

Hoo, The, Kimpton, Hertfordshire

Howsham Hall, Malton, North Yorkshire

Ickworth Park, Suffolk

Kelston Park, Bath and North East Somerset (UA)

Kiddington Hall, Oxfordshire

Kimberley Hall, Norfolk

Kings Weston, Bristol (UA)

Kirkharle Hall, Northumberland

Kirtlington Park, Oxfordshire

Knowsley Hall, Merseyside

Langley Park, South Bucks, Buckinghamshire

Langley Park, South Norfolk, Norfolk

Latimer Park, Buckinghamshire

Longford Castle, Wiltshire

Longleat, Wiltshire

Lower Gatton Park, Reigate, Surrey

Lowther Castle, Cumbria

Luton Hoo, Bedfordshire

Madingley Hall, Cambridgeshire

Mamhead, Devon

Melton Constable Hall, Norfolk

Milton Abbey, Dorset

Moccas Court, Herefordshire (UA)

Moor Park, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire

Newnham Paddox, Warwickshire

Newton Park, Bath and North East Somerset (UA)

Nuneham Courtenay, Oxfordshire

Oakley Park, Shropshire

Packington Hall, Warwickshire

Panshanger, Hertfordshire

Patshull Hall, Staffordshire

Petworth House, West Sussex

Pishiobury, Hertfordshire

Prior Park, Bath and North East Somerset (UA)

Pull Court, Bushley, Worcestershire

Ragley Hall, Warwickshire

Ripley Castle, North Yorkshire

Rise Hall, Hornsea, East Riding of Yorkshire (UA)

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Greater London

Sandbeck Park and Roche Abbey, South Yorkshire

Sandleford Priory (St Gabriel's School), West Berkshire (UA)

Scampston Hall, North Yorkshire

Sheffield Park, East Sussex

Sherborne Castle, Dorset

Shortgrove Park, Essex

Sledmere House, East Riding of Yorkshire (UA)

Southill Park, Bedfordshire

Springhill House, Worcestershire

St John's College, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

Stansted Park, West Sussex

Stapleford Hall, Leicestershire

Stoke Park, Slough, Buckinghamshire

Stowe, Buckinghamshire

Syon Park, Greater London

Talacre, Gwespyr, Denbighshire (UA)

Temple Newsham, West Yorkshire

Thoresby Park, Nottinghamshire

Thorndon Park, Essex

Tottenham Park, Wiltshire

Trentham, Staffordshire

Ugbrooke Park, Devon

Valence, Westerham, Kent

Wallington, Northumberland

Wardour Castle, Wiltshire

Warwick Castle, Warwickshire

Weston Park, Staffordshire

Wilton, Wiltshire

Wimbledon Park, Greater London

Wimpole Hall, Cambridgeshire

Woodchester Park, Gloucestershire

Woodsome Hall, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

Wotton Underwood, Buckinghamshire

Wrest Park, Bedfordshire

Wrotham Park, Hertfordshire

Wycombe Abbey, Buckinghamshire

Wynnstay, Wrexham (UA)

Youngsbury, Hertfordshire

Parks associated with Lancelot Brown (1716-1783)

When I last looked, there were 147 Parks and Gardens with Brown associations. This list will be refined with the tercentenary. For example, Allerton Park, which we are currently working on the restoration plan (2011-2014), does not seem to have any association with Brown and the landscape appears to be Switzer and linked to his work at Bramham Park in the period 1720-1730.


Items in Bold have been reviewed by Haycock from 1996-

Celebrating "Lancelot Brown": In May 2016, English Heritage hosted a major conference on the achievements of Lancelot Brown, to celebrate 300 years since his birth. Dr Haycock presentation is accessible by following this link.