A NEW exhibition, to celebrate the 300th birthday year of the famous landscape designer, Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, has opened at Croome Court.

The exhibition ‘Capability Brown at Croome: A Creative Collaborative” tells the story of the estate’s revolutionary transformation at the hands of the 6th Earl of Coventry and Brown.

“We’ve had another record breaking year at Croome so it’s perfect to end it with this celebratory exhibition of Croome’s principal designer.” said Amy Forster-Smith, Croome’s house and visitor experience manager.

She added: “It’s been a lot of hard work getting everything installed in such a tight time frame, but we’ve all enjoyed getting it ready. We’re also really proud to have so many precious paintings as part of the exhibition.”

The exhibition charts the journey of the 6th Earl of Coventry, who inherited Croome at the age of 28, and his relationship with Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown. Historic maps, archive material and interactive installations chronicle the development of Croome’s marshland called ‘Seggy Mere’ into a beautiful and natural looking English landscape, which was copied by other country estates throughout Britain and Europe. Capability Brown, so named for stating that his clients’ estates had ‘capabilities’, was commissioned in 1751 by the Earl of Coventry who wanted his park and house to reflect the cutting edge of taste and modern design.

A spokesman said: "Visitors can follow this journey through history into the Saloon and Drawing Room of the house. An interactive sandbox, allows visitors to mould their own landscape and a projection shows the contours of the landscape they have created."

The spokesman added: "Two important paintings proudly hang in the exhibition which have returned to Croome after a 76 year absence. One is of 6th Earl of Coventry cutting a handsome figure in his red velvet coat, painted by Allan Ramsay in 1765. It is the most iconic of all the portraits of the 6th Earl and shows him at the height of his power and influence.

"The second painting, by Richard Wilson painted in 1758, is thought to be the first painting of a Brownian landscape. It depicted Croome as it would look in the future as at the time of it being painted the estate was a building site. The parkland was not to reach maturity for another 100 years."

A third painting, on loan from the National Portrait Gallery, is a portrait of ‘Capability’ Brown.

The spokesman said: "It shows him with sparkling eyes and slightly cocked head giving him an approachable and relaxed air."

The exhibition runs through to January 8. Normal admission applies.

For more information please call: 01905 371006 or visit the website www.nationaltrust.org.uk/croome