Tucked away in the countryside this 18th century courtyard has, over the past 20 years, been developed from a range of redundant farm buildings to a thriving visitor attraction. Its success lies in the way it has managed to combine a modern, but unique, shopping and eating experience with its interesting and varied past. Work began with one cabinet makers workshop and small coffee house in 1999. During the course of the past 18 years more workshops have been added and buildings developed to create a truly enjoyable visitor centre with something for everyone.
Kirkharle was the birthplace of Lancelot Capability Brown, the landscape artist once described as the Shakespeare of Gardening. Brown lived on the estate until he was 23 and you can find exhibition panels about the man and his work within the courtyard. The inspirational vision of Capability Brown’s Kirkharle Lake has recently been brought to life. You can now enjoy his birthplace yourself by taking the pleasant walk around the lake on the fully accessible footpath and visiting the beautiful 14th Century Grade 1 church in which he was baptised or browse the workshops.
When it’s time to recharge, stop by the Coffee House for some delicious food and refreshments or pick up some locally-sourced, quality ingredients in Brown’s Lakeside Larder – both open daily from 10am.
With the addition of the Capability Brown play area (for children aged 2-9 years) and a series of activities – including historic games, a nature trail and a large sandpit area – there’s plenty to keep the little ones entertained whilst visiting the workshops and galleries in the courtyard.
Aerial photographs:- © Andy Davison Aerial Imaging Services