Capability Brown

Perception and Response in a Global Context

9-11th September 2016, The University of Bath

An ICOMOS-UK conference in collaboration with the University of Bath, supported by the Gardens Trust, Historic England, the National Trust and the ICOMOS IFLA International Scientific Committee on Cultural Landscapes

Capability Brown changed the face of 18th-century England, yet he left little written explanation of his work. Much must be inferred from his surviving landscapes and by seeing his work in the wider context of the naturalistic style that developed in Europe and further afield.

This major conference, organised by the Cultural Landscapes and Historic Gardens Committee of ICOMOS-UK (International Council on Monuments and Sites UK), was one of the highlights of the first-ever national Capability Brown Festival, providing an international dimension to complement the UK’s national festival of events, openings, exhibitions and publications.

Over a three-day conference in the historic city of Bath (one of the UK’s World Heritage Sites), world-renowned researchers and practitioners presented Brown’s work in a global context and explored the ways in which it has been interpreted over the last 250 years. The conference included evening receptions at Prior Park, the Brown designed valley garden with its iconic Palladian bridge overlooking the city, and at the Bath Assembly Rooms. There was also  a tour of Brown’s landscape at Croome Court, recently restored by the National Trust. Conference papers were published for delegates in a special edition of Garden History.

The conference papers are available as a special illustrated edition of the journal Garden History. Copies are available from ICOMOS-UK for £25, which includes post and packaging within the UK and Europe (for international delivery prices, please contact us). To order a copy of the journal, please contact us at