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Map (copy) of the Park at Wimpole, Cambridgeshire, from the Wimpole Red Book.

Humphry Repton (Bury St Edmunds 1752 – Romford 1818)

Category

Architecture / Drawings

Date

1801

Materials

Pen and ink with watercolour washes and pencil marginalia

Measurements

356 x 332 mm

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Collection

Wimpole, Cambridgeshire (Accredited Museum)

NT 206225

Summary

Humphry Repton (Bury St Edmunds 1752 – Romford 1818). Map (copy) of the Park at Wimpole, 1801, inscribed 'WIMPOLE / Park and Farm / belonging to the / Earl of Hardwicke. Copied from the Original plan in his Lordship's possession'; 'A Scale of Chains', pen and ink with watercolour washes and pencil marginalia (356 x 332mm). Beneath the title of the map is a note in red ink 'I have made use of this Map to explain my opinion. [...] the situation of the trees is inaccurately laid down & many changes seem to have been made since the survey was taken. H. Repton', scale given in chains.

Full description

The map from which Repton made this copy is almost certainly that now in the Cambridge University Library, dated 1800 (No.190)[1]. In his version Repton places the title in the top left rather than top right corner. In the text of the Red Book, under the heading ‘Explanation of the Map’, Repton repeats his caveat about the accuracy of the map, and provides a key to the coloured washes and lines that he superimposed on it: 'Having availed myself of this map, without making a / more accurate survey, to fix the precise situation of the / trees and shew the inequalities of the ground, I shall / endeavour by difference of colour to explain the / general outline of my meaning, altho’ this map cannot / serve as a measured guide for the detail. // The purple washes are woods or trees not before / noticed in this map. // The purple strokes are trees inserted where I know / there are none at present growing. // The bright green washes are plantations which I / suppose to be made for reasons assigned in the / preceding pages. // The red strokes are trees or woods which I suppose / might be taken away to open views to other woods in the direction of the strokes. // The dark green lines are the courses of the grass / Drives which need be only levelled and occasionally mown. // The orange lines are gravel paths proposed to / connect (by a dry walk) the beautiful ground about the / water with the house and the pleasure ground'. Stephen Daniels explains that although Repton’s trade card shows himself as a surveyor, taking a bearing with his theodolite, he ‘quickly abandoned instrumental measurement for sketch maps or plans based on existing surveys’. Catalogue entry adapted from David Adshead, Wimpole Architectural drawings and topographical views, The National Trust, 2007. [1] David Adshead, Wimpole Architectural drawings and topographical views, The National Trust, 2007, p. 100, cat. no. 190.

Provenance

Philip Yorke, 3rd Earl of Hardwicke, KG, MP, FRS, FSA, (1757–1834); bequeathed by Elsie Kipling, Mrs George Bambridge (1896 – 1976), daughter of Rudyard Kipling, to the National Trust together with Wimpole Hall, all its contents and an estate of 3000 acres.

Marks and inscriptions

Top left: WIMPOLE / Park and Farm / belonging to the / Earl of Hardwicke. Copied from the Original plan in his Lordship's possession Above scale: A Scale of Chains Below title: I have made use of this Map to explain my opinion. [...] the situation of the trees is inaccurately laid down & many changes seem to have been made since the survey was taken. H. Repton [in red ink]

Makers and roles

Humphry Repton (Bury St Edmunds 1752 – Romford 1818), landscape designer

References

Adshead 2007: David Adshead, Wimpole Architectural drawings and topographical views, The National Trust, 2007, p.100, no.191 Stroud 1979: Dorothy Stroud, “The charms of natural landscape. The parks and gardens at Wimpole.” Country Life CLXVI, no 4288, 13 September 1979, pp.758-62, p.761, fig.12 RCHME 1968: Royal Commission on Historical Monuments of England, West Cambridgeshire, 1968, pl.132

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