New light has been shone on the landscape gardener famed for his work on Valleyfield estate.
Culminating years of research, the Gardens Trusts has revealed new insights into the work of Humphry Repton.
The new research was completed by hundreds of volunteers from County and Country Gardens Trusts across the UK as part of the celebrations in the bicentenary year of Repton’s death.
In celebrating the man, who wanted to fill the gap left by the death of Capability Brown, the trust encouraged volunteers to present their longstanding research of Repton’s special Red Books and other documents.
He was said to have bridged the style between 18th Century landscape design and the Gardenesque movement of the early Victorian years.
He produced folios of his plans dubbed Red Books because of their distinctive red leather bindings.
They famously include watercolour paintings with overlays showing before and after views of the estate using an inventive cut-out flap.
While some survive, others are lost but people are still discovering new documents such as Repton’s account books, drawings and notes, which reveal broader influences on the English landscape.
The research also reveals much about the man himself, such as his interest in the arts as a designer, painter, actor and musician, which led to him cultivating influential relationships in his professional and personal life and showed his desire to be part of the elite artistic circle.
In celebration, the Garden Museum in London is staging an exhibition until February 3 reuniting the largest number of Red Books in one place in 25 years.
Linden Groves, strategic development officer at the Gardens Trust said: “As part of our bicentenary celebrations of the iconic landscape gardener Humphry Repton, who still continues to influence landscape designers today, we wanted to learn more about Repton and his inventive work.
“Involving volunteers from across the country has been invaluable to being able to discover new Red Books, new Repton sites, and learn more about his role in designing the British landscape.
“Humphry Repton has long been in the shadow of Capability Brown, but has every reason to be in the limelight for his contribution to landscape design.”