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FENSTANTON PARISH NEWS

I knew the last man alive to see Capability Brown…..

Posted: 06/10/2015



Yes, it is a true statement, despite the incredulity it often receives!

Like many parishes Fenstanton has had its fair share of notables and whilst some like Lancelot 'Capability' Brown and John Howland are more widely known, there were others who did "good deeds" within our community.

One such person was Michael Behagg – who with his equally committed wife Shirley, would often offer their home to host fundraising events for the Church. The Behagg family has farmed in Fenstanton for generations and Michael was both a J.P. and also long term Parish Councillor who was renowned for even-handedness at meetings.

It was at one of the fund-raising events that I spent an hour in Michael's good company. At one point he acquired a slightly mischievous twinkle in his eye and declared "You know, I was the last person alive to see 'Capability' Brown!"
Michael must be congratulated for his delivery had the desired effect and he was amused at my delayed reaction whilst I was thinking "You're not THAT old…"

He went on to explain…

Many years ago, the Church needed to install new heating but there were problems in siting the oil tank to comply with the relevant regulations. After much debate and agonising, the only suitable place for it was where 'Capability' Brown and his wife Bridget were buried.

The result was that they were disinterred and moved to a suitable position a little further away from the building. Unfortunately the actual location was never recorded.

Michael was personally involved with the re-interment and closed the grave.

So you see, he was indeed, the last person alive to see 'Capability' Brown!

NPT October 2015




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