Photo gallery: New exhibition brings Humphry Repton’s 200-year-old Sheringham Park landscape to life
17:26 06 September 2012
Touchscreen technology is taking visitors to an historic Norfolk parkland back 200 years to when it was created by a famous garden designer.
Humphry Repton fashioned the National Trust’s Sheringham Park in the days of quill pens, horses and carriages. But now a hi-tech visitor centre is helping to explain how the popular tourist attraction was born and has developed over the years.
Back in the late 1700s and early 1800s Mr Repton worked as a landscape designer, one of his many careers, and for each park and garden he worked at he would produce a Red Book to show the owners his ideas.
In 1812 he made the Red Book for Sheringham Park for the Upcher family.
And now a team from the University of Nottingham, University of East Anglia and the National Trust have spent the last six months researching the landscape’s history and its designer and from tomorrow (Friday) will be showcasing the findings as part of a year-long exhibition to celebrate the 200-year anniversary.
Andy Pritchett, co-director of Norwich-based exhibition designers Ugly Studios, said: “This exhibition includes a mix of audio-visual displays of images, text and sound. It also includes cabinets of curiosity - natural treasures and cultural treasurers - and is united through a sense of drama, theatre and a sense of surprise, paying homage to Repton’s roots as a playwright.”
Project researcher Dr Lucy Veale, of the University of Nottingham, discovered that 1812 proved to be a landmark year for landscape as a form of art and knowledge, for painting, design and works of literature and science.
During that year the economic climate led to protests, England’s prime minister Spencer Perceval was assassinated and fears of a French landing were very real, with the name Napoleon no stranger to local households.
On the back on this civil unrest Mr Repton strived to bring his vision for social harmony to life and inject colour back into society - elements which shine through his work at Sheringham Park.
Miss Veale said: “Hopefully people will be encouraged to learn more and view the park in a different way.”
The exhibition also includes a catalogue, an electronic version of extracts from the Red Book, and a guided walk to the park with an accompanying mobile phone application.
Malcolm Fisher, visitor services manager at Sheringham Park, said: “It is hoped that this free exhibition will enable visitors to find out more about the designed landscape they’re standing in and its evolution over the last 200 years as they venture out to enjoy it.”
The exhibition - Humphry Repton at Sheringham Park: Bringing Landscape to Life, 1812-2012 - is based in the barn at the visitor centre at Sheringham Park and will be open from 10am-5pm most days.
The project has been funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
● To view more photos of the exhibition and past landscape click the link to the photo gallery in the top right-hand corner.