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Capability Brown’s Wimbledon Park – A History, August 2016 (v0.3). Dr. David Dawson

Capability Brown's Wimbledon Park - a history, 2016

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Capability Brown’s Wimbledon Park – A History

Capability Browns Wimbledon Park – A History: Please click here to see this pamphlet published by Dr. David Dawson in August 2016 (v0.3).


“The account begins with a description of the topography, soils and water regime of the park and then takes up the story of its development by describing what was there when Lancelot Brown began to landscape it in 1765. After describing the resulting landscape, I outline the major changes that have affected the park since. I end with a description of what is left today. I employ present day names of historic features, but refer to the historic names on first mention. Readers should note that I use the term “the park” for Capability Brown’s park. I refer to the open space surviving today as the “heritage” land.

Capability Brown's Wimbledon Park - a History
Capability Brown’s Wimbledon Park – a History

This history was prepared as part of the celebration of Lancelot (“Capability”) Brown’s tercentenary in 2016. I volunteered to correct and update an existing account prepared by Tony Matthews in 2015 for the Parks and Gardens UK website.

I thought that it would be an easy matter to cross-check details with the existing historical accounts of Wimbledon and Wandsworth and to examine historical maps of the area. In fact, checking the information proved to be difficult because there were many more sources than I had ever imagined and the source of many oft-repeated details was hard to track down. This draft was prepared in time for an exhibition on Brown held at the Museum of Wimbledon, and the unveiling of commemorative plaques at the various entrances to the heritage landscape.

Preparing this has taught me a lot. The detective work has been great fun, and I hope that the result will help others to celebrate this historic park. I’m most grateful for the work of many others. I could not have begun the work without reference to the work of local historians Rita Ensing, Charles Toase, Richard Milward, Bernard Rondeau, Dorian Gerhold, Tony Matthews and Cyril Maidment.” …read more

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