The practice of landscape: 10 great gardens by Humphry Repton

Humphry Repton was the leading garden-maker at the turn of the 19th century. Here are 10 of his best-loved gardens in Britain.

Blaise Castle

A great estate near Bristol redesigned in the 1790s for the banker John Harford. Repton’s dramatic carriage drive exploits the Picturesque scenery to advantage. John Nash worked with George Stanley Repton, our man’s son, on a series of architectural decorations including an elaborate model village.


A holiday home in ornamental grounds created from 1810 for the Duke of Bedford on his Devon estate. Jeffry Wyatville’s cottage orné, now a hotel, looks out over Picturesque scenery dotted with ornamental buildings.

Woburn Abbey

Repton added a series of eclectic garden features fanning out from Henry Holland’s Chinese Dairy from 1805, for the Duke of Bedford. Recent restoration work has brought the scene back to life.

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In a late project, Repton developed an elaborate series of proposals for gardens around the house from 1813 for the Earl of Bridgewater. These foreshadow the coming return of the formality and historicising sentiment of the Victorian garden.

Kenwood House

In 1793, Repton developed a series of proposals, including shrubberies and a lake, for the Earl of Mansfield at his Kenwood estate on Hampstead Heath. These scenes were partly reinstated by English Heritage during the 1990s.

Brighton Pavilion

Humphry Repton

The Pheasantry from Designs for the Pavilion at Brighton (1808). Credit: Getty Images

In the 1790s, and again in 1805, Repton prepared detailed improvements for the Pavilion gardens for the Prince of Wales. These were later modified and carried out by John Nash without acknowledging his former partner’s contribution.

Attingham Park

Repton worked on parkland improvements, including a carriage drive and a lake, from 1797 for Lord Berwick. The estate is now owned by the National Trust.

Corsham Court

Repton was called in by Paul Methuen in 1795 to adapt, refine and update the work carried out a generation earlier by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown.


In an early project of 1791 for John Geers Cotterell, Herefordshire baronet and MP, Repton laid out a characteristic parkland setting with approach drive and backing woods for a new house in the Picturesque style.


Humphry Repton

Watercolour view of the south front of Sheringham Park, Norfolk, from the house’s Red Book. Credit: National Trust Images

In 1812, Repton was called in to rework this Norfolk estate for its new owner, Abbot Upcher. John Adey Repton, Humphrey’s architect son, designed the house, and Humphry framed it in terracing, a flower garden with conservatory, a park, ornamental drives and sheltering woods.

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