Launch of Brown’s 300th events

The plaque unveiled by The Time Bandits
The plaque unveiled by The Time Bandits

Music, moonlight and flaming torches set the scene at Kirkharle on Easter Saturday for the official launch of Capability Brown’s birthday celebrations.

A plaque unveiling, torchlight procession and live music kicked off the party, which will see numerous events throughout the summer to mark what would have been the famous landscaper’s 300th birthday.

The torchlight procession on Capability Brown's 300th birthday celebrations

The torchlight procession on Capability Brown's 300th birthday celebrations

Kitty Anderson, of Kirkharle, just off the A696 near Ponteland, said: “The role of Capability Brown on the evening was taken by John Sadler from The Time Bandits, a professional team of historical costumed interpreters and re-enactors based here in the North East.

“He started the evening’s proceedings by unveiling a new, permanent plaque to the memory of Capability Brown on the Coffee House wall in the Courtyard.”

Then, along with a dozen musicians from The Tenth Avenue Band performing live music all evening, the procession started out from the Coffee House Courtyard, lighting their torches en route, to enjoy a breezy, colourful stroll around the Serpentine Lake.

They then returned to the barn for hot refreshments and more music from the band.

Musical entertainment on the launch night of Capability Brown's 330th birthday celebrations

Musical entertainment on the launch night of Capability Brown's 330th birthday celebrations

Kitty added: “Everyone dressed warmly for the outdoors and John Sadler, in his role as Capability Brown, stopped the procession by each of the three lake information boards to shed light on Brown’s formative years at Kirkharle, where he was baptised at St Wilfrid’s, and his growing interest in landscape design, before he moved south, aged 23, to follow his dreams.”

The Time Bandits will also be leading visitors to Kirkharle on a walk around the landscape Brown designed on Sunday, April 10.

Events will continue with a guided walk on April 12 organised by the National Trust to take visitors from Kirkharle to Cambo, following Brown’s daily walk to and from school, and on April 27, Fingask Follies, on behalf of the Red Cross, will stage a production at Kirkharle called ‘The HaHa Show’.

Sunday, May 1, sees a ‘Food and Flower Fair’, to be held in the barn marquee in conjunction with the National Gardens Scheme.

Other events follow up to the end of August, including a concert with Alexander Armstrong.

There will also be a Capability Brown bike ride of 29 miles taking place on Sunday, August 7.

The cycle ride, will start and finish at Kirkharle and will take participants through the countryside that inspired Brown.

Admission to Kirkharle is free, but some events require tickets.

Further information about the CB300 celebrations diary can be found on the website www.kirkharlecourtyard.co.uk or by ringing the Coffee House on 01830 540362.

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