Humphry Repton landscaped Attingham Park over 200 years ago with the mode of transport in mind at that time. His idea of a grand entrance to the Park off the A5 is still there and is impressive, his next idea was to drive into open parkland, and it still does do that. Then not far into the park the passengers in their carriage would catch just a short glimpse of Attingham Hall in the distance, so that the Hall looked rather small but all you could see would be the hall, a little mystery and grandeur. You would then see only open parkland, you would cross the Ha Ha and still only see the stables and servants quarters but nothing of the hall. It was only when you arrived in front of the hall and the main double steps to the main front door did the size impress on you that you had arrived at a very large and therefore important residence.

I studied Repton whilst doing my horticultural studies and found Attingham being the nearest Repton landscaped park to me, wanted to see how his ideas worked after 200years. Now here is the problem, we now drive horseless carriages with windows all around us, so therefore Reptons vision is lost as we drive ourselves and can see where we are going, or we should do. The entrance gate is impressive, and you do enter still open parkland, but then the vision is lost because in a car or transport of today we all can see the hall after the first bend in the drive and you watch it grow larger as you approach, so that ends the mystery and the magic that Repton had designed into the landscape.

That was until the 11th September 2011 when the Mayoress and myself travelled by horse and carriage from Shrewsbury to Attingham. When we arrived at Attingham I took out my Blackberry and then did a pictorial of our journey from arriving at Atcham right up until we arrived at the Hall.

Please see the results below. I found it very interesting I hope you do also.


You get the feeling that you are entering a place of great importance and of great wealth. I don’t think the cattle grid would of been there but hay we are 200 years on and we are in a carriage of that period, so as close as one could be to Reptons time and vision.

Open parkland to the left of our carriage, we could not see ahead due to the drivers box in front of the carriage. Below is the view of open parkland to the right of our carriage.

The two pictures above show the restricted forward view that you get from inside the carriage due to the drivers box at the front of the carriage.

I wonder if that tree was one planted in Reptons design period?

There it is Attingham Hall, I only got one chance to pohograph it and it had gone out of our line of sight, sorry for the poor quality but the sun has caught the Hall just as I took the picture. But it does show the magic of his design and landscaping qualities 200 years ago if it still works today. Then its back to open parkland in the picture below.

But whats this? It is in fact the stables and quarters that sit just off the site of Attingham Hall outside of the main buildings but close enough to be at hand when needed.

A thank you to the driver and owner of our carriage for an unforgetable journey, a step back in time and one that allowed me the chance to test the theory of Humphry Repton in the mode of transport that he had to work with 200 years ago. I think that you will agree with me that his ability to ensure that after 200 years it still works they way he intended is testament to both Repton and also to the National Trust and previous owners of Attingham Park to have kept it as it was designed, so we can see and marval at this wonderful Hall and Parkland today.

Please visit Attingham Park and Hall and when you do try to remember it was designed with your windscreen blocked out and the only view you have is through the side windows. Also in those days it was not proper to stick your head out of the window to catch a view up the road. Ok.

Please click on the link below to go to the Attingham Park & Hall web-site.


Click on the link below to read about Repton and see a view of the Hall from the air.


Thank you for reading and looking at the pictorial travel up to Attingham as Repton intended.

Tony & Tricia Durnell



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