Smart Tactics and a Taste for the Avant-Garde

Smart Tactics and a Taste for the Avant-Garde+ A Tercentenary Tribute to Lord Coventry of Croome – November 2022

A fascinating and informative talk on the creation of Croome Court as we know it today by Dr. Catherine Gordon who is an architectural historian, author and historic building consultant.

She has been researching the history of the Earls of Coventry and the Croome estate for over 20 years and for much of this time worked in conjunction with the National Trust on the restoration of Croome Court and Park. She published The Coventrys of Croome in 2000, in association with the National Trust, and Croome: A Creation of Genius in 2018. Robert Adam and Lancelot (Capability) Brown worked closely with George William the 6th Earl Coventry completely redesigning the house in 1751 after he inherited the estate.

Croome Court stands in parkland in south Worcestershire; the house was re-designed by Capability Brown and Sanderson Miller, with Robert Adam designing the interior. An earlier seventeenth century house which stood on the same site was partially demolished to make way for the new one. Capability Brown is better known as a landscape gardener and after working at Stowe in Buckinghamshire, he was commissioned by the sixth Earl of Coventry to landscape the parkland surrounding Croome Court, turning wet marshy land into a beautiful, landscaped park. This included damming a stream to create an artificial serpentine shaped lake known as Croome River, echoing the River Severn to the west. The landscaping included the planting of numerous trees and the building of a number of follies which are described as ‘eyecatchers’ their purpose being to catch the eye of visitors to the court. Capability Brown’s landscaping proved very popular and he went on to landscape many country parks and gardens throughout the country, including Chatsworth and Blenheim Palace.

Croome Court and Park is very well worth several visits to appreciate the artistry and adaptations involved.