Books available from IWGT

Copies are available at IWGT events or please email us at for details.  



Walled Kitchen Gardens

of the Isle of Wight


Historic Parks & Gardens

of the Isle of Wight


‘Capability’ Brown Festival 2016

The Isle of Wight Gardens Trust celebrated the 300th anniversary of the birth of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown and his involvement with Appuldurcombe with expert guided walks and a ‘Capability’ Brown Festival assisted by the East Wight Landscape Partnership and Ventnor Botanic Garden. The specialist speakers at the Festival have kindly supplied papers based on their presentations which can be accessed via the links below. Photographs of Appuldurcombe are courtesy of Steffie Shields, the Appuldurcombe Landscape Detective leaflet is courtesy of the East Wight Landscape Partnership and John Brownscombe and the site plan courtesy of Philip Masters.

More detail about the Appuldurcombe landscape can be found on this page.

Please click on a title in blue to link to the document.

Kate Harwood

Brown’s Appuldurcombe in Context

Kate is a garden historian, lecturer and writer, Planning and Conservation Officer for the Hertfordshire Gardens Trust and on the Conservation Committee of The Gardens Trust.

The mid 18th century saw the rise of our Polite and Commercial People (Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, 1765-9). The impact of empire, trade, scientific and agricultural innovations forms the background to the work of the many Improvers. It left its mark on the landscape and is arguably both the distillation of this polite and commercial people and England’s greatest contribution to international art.

Steffie Shields

“Situation fine & romantic”

Capability Brown at Appuldurcombe

Steffie is a professional garden photographer, writer, historic landscape consultant, Cambridge tutor and a Vice-President of The Gardens Trust. Her book Moving Heaven & Earth, Capability Brown’s Gift of Landscape was published in 2016.

Her paper discusses Brown’s vision, Lincolnshire connections, ‘what might have been’ and his enduring legacy.

Dr Vicky Basford

Appuldurcombe: A Virtual Tour

Vicky arrived on the Isle of Wight in 1976 to prepare an archaeological survey of the Island published as The Vectis Report in 1980. Her book Historic Parks & Gardens of the Isle of Wight was published in 1989. Vicky is a founder member and Research Officer of the Isle of Wight Gardens Trust.

Vicky’s paper draws on her own research and that carried out by Philip Masters for the 2005 Appuldurcombe Park Conservation Plan. It also utilises information prepared by John Brownscombe for the  Appuldurcombe Landscape Detectives leaflet.

Philip Masters

‘A great landscape park which has been torn apart’

Philip is a landscape architect who has worked on conservation plans for Capability Brown landscapes at Wimpole, Sheffield Park, Ashburnham and Appuldurcombe.

Philip’s paper takes its title from Christopher Taylor’s comment made in a book published in 1988 and examines what has survived of Brown’s landscape through the break-up of the Appuldurcombe estate in the nineteenth century and intensive farming in the twentieth. It looks at the way that changing attitudes to designed landscape conservation are reflected in the way that Appuldurcombe has been treated, moving on to assess the way that understanding and management of the landscape could be improved in the future.

John Brownscombe

Appuldurcombe Landscape Detective

John is a Rural, Environmental and Landscape Consultant based on the Isle of Wight and an IWGT Trustee.  His leaflet, produced for the East Wight Landscape Partnership includes an illustrated timeline and an Isle Spy around Appuldurcombe quiz suitable for the whole family. Please check opening times for the house and car park on the English Heritage website.

Appuldurcombe leaflet.pdf