Channel 4 Features has commissioned Capability Found from Spun Gold, a 3 x 60 celebrating the life and work of Lancelot “Capability” Brown, Britain’s master gardener of the late 1700s.
Presented by renowned gardener, horticultural expert and Capability Brown enthusiast Alan Titchmarsh, the series will reveal Capability’s 18th century landscape plans for Belvoir Castle. Plans which were never executed as Brown sadly died before they could be started. But now, nearly three centuries later are to be brought to life.
With unprecedented access to Belvoir Castle, ancestral home of the Duke and Duchess of Rutland, Titchmarsh will peel away the landscaped layers of the last 300 years. Aided by the recent discovery of the 18th century pre-survey plan he will see the grounds of the Estate as Capability first did and historian, John Phibbs will explain why he believes the reworked landscape would have been a masterpiece.
Alan will assist the Duchess as she attempts to recreate Capability’s 18th century vision for the Estate, by sharing his extensive knowledge of England’s master gardener, taking inspiration from Capability’s other great landscaped gardens around the country. The challenge will be immense as the 300 year old plans from this genius designer must now also sit comfortably alongside the working practices of the 21st century Estate.
This fascinating series will detail Capability’s astonishing life including his humble origins; the joys and sorrows as a family man and his ambitious networking which led him to the very heart of 18th century English society. Many historians would suggest that his extraordinary talent was able to bring enchantment into the British landscape which in turn made him one of the most influential people of his time.
Lizi Wootton, Commissioning Editor, Features said; “The series is set to add to the tri-centenary celebrations of Lancelot “Capability” Brown’s birth. The re-discovery of his plans for Belvoir Castle is really exciting and hugely significant. I’m delighted that nearly 300 years on Alan Titchmarsh is able to help recreate the vision of one of Britain’s most important landscape designers.”
Gill Tierney, Executive Producer for Spun Gold adds; “Most people have heard of Capability Brown but this is a chance to get to know the man behind the myth; to celebrate his legacy not only at Belvoir Castle, but in some of the greatest gardens of England.”
Daniela Neumann, Creative Director for Spun Gold also notes; “We are delighted to be extending our longstanding relationship with Alan. Who better to tell this fascinating story than the nation’s favourite gardener? This series forms a number of new projects we are working on with him to take him into the next wave of his career.”
Commissioning Editor, Features: Lizi Wootton, Channel 4
Executive Producer: Gill Tierney, Spun Gold
Produced & Directed by: Duncan Barnes, Spun Gold