Published by the Yorkshire Gardens Trust, Noble Prospects: Capability Brown & the Yorkshire Landscape tells the story of Brown’s work in Yorkshire, from his first known consultation at Harewood in 1758 to new projects at Stapleton and Byram just a few months before he died in 1783.
- Drawing of Rise Hall c. 1815 Public domain (source: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/yorks/east/vol7)
In 1775 Lancelot 'Capability' Brown gave advice to owner William Bethell on remodelling the parkland at Rise.
In 1775 Bethell contacted Capability Brown to ask for his advice on improving the parkland at Rise, near Hull, East Yorkshire. Brown was making one of his visits to nearby Burton Constable in September 1775, so he may also have called at Rise then. The manor of Rise dates back to the 13th century and in 1475 it became the property of Richard Duke of Gloucester (later King Richard III). The Bethell family bought the manor in 1646. When William Bethell took over the estate from his brother in 1772 he began modernising it, starting with the house.
A plan of 1716 (left) shows a small formal garden around the house, with Rise Wood to the south and Old Park to the east of that. By 1762 the area south of the hall had been split between a fenced deer park and woodland.
Brown sent him a 'General Plan for the Alterations of the Place', but this has not survived. All that is known is that it included a proposal to move the road to the north of the house so the park could be enlarged. There are Brownian features at Rise, including belts of woodland on the edges of the park, clumps of trees and woods cut through with rides.
Enlarging the park
The change to the road was given the go-ahead by December of 1775, so that work could begin. In that year, the parkland was also enlarged by clearing 17 hectares (40 acres) of oak woodland in Rise Wood. A local newspaper advert from March 1775 gave notice of the sale of 85 oaks, with a further 422 due to be felled.
New Pond was created in this felled area of woodland. Like the smaller Old Pond, which is shown on a plan of 1716, this had a small island. Neither of these ponds is thought to have been altered by Brown.
Rise after Brown
The deer park at Rise was emptied during the Second World War, but the estate has changed little since the middle of the 19th century. The Bethell family still owns most of the estate, though Rise Hall (listed Grade II) has been sold.
Information courtesy of the Yorkshire Gardens Trust and the New Arcadian Press.
For an extended and fully annotated account please see: Karen Lynch, ‘Capability Brown in Yorkshire’, in Dr Patrick Eyres (Ed), Yorkshire Capabilities: New Arcadian Journal 75/76, 2016 www.newarcadianpress.co.uk
For a lavishly illustrated account of Brown in Yorkshire please see: Karen Lynch, Noble Prospects: Capability Brown & the Yorkshire Landscape, Harrogate: Mercer Art Gallery & Yorkshire Gardens Trust, 2016 www.yorkshiregardenstrust.org.uk
Parks & Gardens UK: www.parksandgardens.org/places-and-people/site/2811/