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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

New Lake gives Summertime Inspiration at Kirkharle

What: Opening of the new Kirkharle Lake
Where: Kirkharle. Kirkwhelpington, Northumberland, NE19 2PN
When: June and July 2010

When was the first time you strolled around a brand new lake designed 250 years ago?

This will be the first opportunity to experience history in the making and visit the newly created Capability Brown lake, which is now open in the beautiful countryside at Kirkharle Lake and Courtyard.

The lake and parkland are being brought to life at Kirkharle in Northumberland, from a plan dating back to the 1700s.

Northumberland's Lancelot 'Capability' Brown is arguably the most famous landscape gardener in English history and was even described as 'the Shakespeare of gardening' by a German prince.

And now a long forgotten plan drawn by the 18th century garden designer is now a reality – at his North East birthplace at Kirkharle.

Kitty Anderson, project co-ordinator for Kirkharle Creative, said: "We've got a fantastic summer ahead of us and I'd like to think Capability Brown would have been pleased that we are doing something to remember him by at his birthplace.

"We already have a thriving visitor attraction here, with a diverse range of businesses and we are now adding to it and making it even more exciting."

It is believed that the design for the lake and adjoining parkland may be the first plan ever drawn by Capability Brown, who left Kirkharle in 1739 to pursue his career.

Kirkharle now houses 12 arts, gallery, tourism and craft businesses, as well as a restaurant, coffee shop and function room.

For families, there's also a special Sunday Lake Opening Lunches at Kirkharle restaurant throughout June.

The Lake will add to the enjoyment and interest of visitors to the site, which features Kirkharle Courtyard, a gallery shopping and heritage attraction.

Brown was born at Kirkharle in 1716 and went on to design more than 100 landscapes across Britain, including gardens at Blenheim and Longleat, and was master gardener for King George III.

The present owner of Kirkharle, John Anderson, discovered Brown's plan in a desk drawer when he was going through his grandfather's papers.

The project is being supported by Northumberland County Council, using Rural Development Programme for England funds provided by One North East, the EU and Defra, Northumbrian Water and charitable donations.

Visitors can also enjoy the Capability Brown exhibition on show and the Grade I listed St Wilfrid's Church, which dates back to 1336, and was where Brown was baptized.

For more information, or to book tel: 01830 540362,
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