Our last stop of our long, tiring day was the Canal Pond and other features of the South Lawn. We were pretty lucky as we reached this point just before the fountains were shut off for the day. Bearded Boyfriend was beyond tired and I was only surviving off a sugar rush from some party rings that I had scoffed down after the traumatic maze but like I say, we made it to our final stop.
Canal Pond & the Great Fountain
The Canal pond was dug between 1702-1703, and is set a few inches higher than the South Lawn behind it so that when you’re standing at the far end from the house, it gives the illusion that the house is floating on the water. Unfortunately, I think they day weren’t clear enough or maybe even a bit too late in the day for us to get that impact but it was still so grand and impressive.
There has been a fountain at the North end of the canal since the pond was dug and completed. The jet nozzle form the great fountain can still be seen but was made obsolete in 1844 when Paxton designed The Emperor Fountain.
The Emperor Fountain
While the Great Fountain, which had been a product of the 1st Duke of Devonshire’s era and was the highest in the country, the 6th Duke put Paxton’s engineering skills to the test to create a gravity-fed fountain that would set a new record; and in the process, impressive Tsar Nicholas I (1796-1855) Emperor of Russia who was a good friend of the Dukes. It is even named after the Emperor, who sadly never got to behold it.
It is powered by the pressure of the water dropping 122 metres through a 40cm cast-iron pip and remained the tallest gravity-fed fountain in the world for 160 years!
The South Lawn
Now I touched on the South Lawn in my first post about the garden here, and it has remained relatively untouched since its work in 1694. The South Lawn is a mix of symmetrical lawn and garden, with manicured bushes and shrubbery. The focal point of the lawn is a circular pond with craved stone statues of sea-horses and a triton all carved by Caius Gabriel Cibber. It’s the epitome of a formal garden, all perfectly tended to with not a piece of grass brushed the wrong way and all lined by neat gravel pathways. This section is roped off from the public -understandably so given how old the pond features are and its closeness to the South of the house.
This was the end our day at Chatsworth. Honestly, it was such a great day. As I mentioned in previous posts, I had always dreamt of visiting this historic place having read so much about it and seen it in documentaries. It was surreal to be able to finally visit it! While I loved it all, if I ever went again I think I would just buy a garden ticket as there was so much in the garden that we didn’t get chance to see due to our lack of time. I’d probably take a picnic too and eat by the canal pond in the sun -that would be glorious!
Cheerio for now!