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The Manor House, Fenstanton


The 18th-century home of Lancelot Brown which he received by way of payment for his work for the Earl of Northampton at Castle Ashby. The gardens do not reflect Brown's work featuring only topiary hollies, lawns and hedges.

The front garden of the house is of interest, but hardly a Brown landscape. Two topiary holly bushes frame the gate and bulge over the low brick wall, behind which a privet hedge just appears. Either side of the front porch are lawns with a magnolia and jasmine to the right and a cotoneaster and jasmine to the left.

The majority of houses in Chequer Street are 17th-century timber framed, however the Manor House is built of brick and is now painted, with shaped gables at each end and a porch.

The house was the home of Lancelot (Capability) Brown when he obtained the manor from the Earl of Northampton in 1768. It is thought that Brown received the manor in payment for his work improving the gardens at Castle Ashby.

Brown died in 1783 and there is a monument to him and his wife Bridget in the nearby church.

Associated People
Features & Designations


  • Lawn
  • Hedge
  • Topiary
Key Information





Principal Building

Manor House



Civil Parish




  • Cambridgeshire Gardens Trust {The Gardens of Cambridgeshire} (Huntingdon: Cambridgeshire Gardens Trust, 2000) 70