22 Sep 2016
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Capability Brown: Perception and Response in a Global Context - 9th-11th September 2016

Over 135 national and international renowned speakers and delegates attended this major 3 day conference to explore Capability Brown’s work in a global context.

Organised by the Cultural Landscapes and Historic Gardens Committee of ICOMOS-UK (International Council on Monuments and Sites UK) it was hosted by, the Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering, University of Bath, and supported by Historic England, the National Trust, the Gardens Trust, and Bath and North East Somerset Council.

The conference began with an Introductory Address from his Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO, Patron, ICOMOS-UK who was welcomed to the university by the Vice Chancellor Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell.

Highlights included a Keynote speech by Professor John Dixon Hunt, University of Pennsylvania and an evening reception at the National Trust's Prior Park, a Brown designed garden with its iconic Palladian bridge overlooking the World Heritage City of Bath. There was a Civic Reception at the magnificent Bath Assembly Rooms where the speakers and delegates were welcomed to the City of Bath by the Chairman of BANES Council, Councillor Alan Hale and addressed by Dame Helen Ghosh, Director General of the National Trust who spoke about the conservation of Capability Brown landscapes in their care. There was also a tour of Brown's landscape at Croome Court, Worcestershire recently restored by the National Trust.

The Conference was preceded by the 2016 annual meeting of the ICOMOS-IFLA International Scientific Committee on Cultural Landscapes (ISCCL), Chaired by the current President, Steve Brown (Australia), who were meeting in the UK for the first time in 29 years.

Following these hugely successful events Mike Calnan, Head of Gardens at the National Trust commented: ‘I just wanted to say many congratulations for putting on such an excellent conference last week.  Having speakers from far and wide certainly stressed the appeal and spread of Brown’s influence and it was so good to hear so many different perspectives… Thank you for all you did – incredibly, but understandably over three years to pull it all together.  The whole things seemed to run so effortlessly, a sign of a well-planned event.  I felt privileged to have been present at such an auspicious gathering and to have had a small part to play. It was excellent too that the NT could support this important event.

Conference papers have been published in a special edition of the journal Garden History. Copies are available to purchase from ICOMOS-UK for £25, which includes post and packaging within the UK (for international delivery prices, please contact admin@icomos-uk.org). The concluding slides, contributed by the chair of the final session, Steve Brown, President of the ISCCL, are also available to download from http://www.icomos-uk.org/about-us/events/

For more details of the event or to order a copy of the journal please contact:

ICOMOS-UK: 0207 566 0031 or admin@icomos-uk.org