This autumn the National Trust is scheduling a number of talks and event around the theme of the British landscape. Our specialists will be providing insights into how nature and culture interact in a number of different landscapes.
Sheringham Park is a landscape designed in a deliberately ‘natural’ and ‘picturesque’ manner by designer Humphry Repton. In 1812 Abbot Upcher, who had recently inherited Sheringham, and his wife Charlotte commissioned Repton and his architect son John Adey Repton to improve the estate and build a new Italianate house there.
Repton senior produced one of his ‘red books’, the watercolour albums in which he showed his clients how the various views and amenities on their properties could be improved. The red books are fascinating in how they combine professional presentation techniques with a quintessentially romantic ‘sensibility’.
Repton skilfully arranged the route of the drive so that the first glimpse of the house ‘will burst at once on the sight like some enchanted palace of a fairy tale.’ He was also something of a nature conservationist avant la lettre, encouraging the Upchers to leave the old trees contorted by the buffeting sea winds as ‘sublime memorials of the power of Nature’s mighty agents.’