10 Jul 2015

The Gardens at Chatsworth (3)

Chatsworth is well known for its water features. The flow cycle is powered not by pumps but by gravity alone and the water system has been used in the house and gardens for over three hundred years when the 1st Duke of Devonshire devised and installed it.
Rain that falls on the moors above the estate drains into man-made conduits and then into the Swiss Lake, the Emperor Lake and the Ring Pond. The water then flows down and over an aqueduct and then underground to the Cascade Pond above the Cascade. At the bottom of the Cascade a pipe feeds other fountains and ponds in the garden. It also carries water to the house and stables.
From the Emperor Lake a direct underground pipe feeds into the Canal Pond and the water then flows away down another cascade, the Quebec Cascade, into the River Derwent.  The Emperor Fountain in the Canal Pond can reach heights of up to 90 metres without a pump because of the pressure of the water which drops down through a narrow pipe for some 100+ metres. The Emperor pipe also feeds water-powered turbines and since 1893 the house has had a supply of electricity.


One of the features of 17th, 18th and 19th century gardens in grand estates was the use of water to create drama and even playfulness.  At Chatsworth one of these is the Willow Tree Fountain which was made for the 1st Duke, William Cavendish, (1640-1707). It was an artificial tree of brass which squirted water from the branches. When Queen Victoria, aged thirteen, visited Chatsworth she called it 'the squirting tree'.  A 19th century copy of the original can still be seen in the gardens. The Cascade Temple also has the capacity to squirt water up through holes in the floor which might or might not amuse unsuspecting guests!
The present Duke continues the tradition of installing kinetic sculptural art as well as displaying other works of art as exhibition pieces. There's always something new to discover in the gardens.


The above piece of permanent art was installed in 1999. The stainless steel and resin flower sculpture is called 'Revelation' and was created by Angela Connor.
'Moved by the weight of water and gravity from the lakes above, the inner sphere is filled with water causing it to descend.  This makes the outer leaves close over it as if protectively holding a secret.  A syphon then discharges the water. The lightened sphere rises. The leaves open out to reveal the preciously held secret before the cycle begins again'. (information taken from a plaque by the sculpture).








The Temple and Cascade



The Canal Pond can be viewed from the south side of the House.


The Emperor Fountain




The South-East corner of the House.



The Ring Pond was originally part of an area designed as one of the 1st Duke's formal 'wildernesses'.  







The sculptures around the Ring Pond and along the walk leading to the Rockery are in the style of ancient Greek 'herms'.  They were made for Lord Burlington's garden in Chiswick in 1700.




Water channels lead to Strid Pond in the Rockery. You can read about my previous visit to see the Rockery here.

The Trout Stream is a narrow rill that also channels water from the moor above into the garden, meandering down to a rocky waterfall from where it feeds the lower formal ponds. On its way it passes through narrow stone channels and down shallow water falls.
I followed along by the stream as it flowed through meadow grasses where there were wild flowers and moisture loving plants growing beside the water.
















 


26 comments:

  1. I think water is such an important feature in a garden, not only is it calming and restful but it attracts so much wildlife too. The emperor fountain is such an iconic feature of Chatsworth, I recognise it when it's featured on tv even though I've never been to Chatsworth myself. It's amazing that it can reach such heights without a pump.

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    1. The Emperor fountain is amazing. In fact, knowing about the water system throughout the estate, the ingenuity and engineering work that went into making it all possible makes one appreciate the features even more.

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  2. What a wonderful post Linda!! I am hoping to visit Chatsworth myself later in the year and now I want to go even more having seen and read your wonderful post!!! The gardens look so wonderful!!! Thank you so much for taking us along with you! xx

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    1. I hope you get to Chatsworth later in the year, There's so much to enjoy in the gardens and surrounding estate as well as in the house.

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  3. Thank you for sharing all these photos, Linda the water features look wonderful and I expect very cooling to see and sit by on a warm summer's day. I love the classical water features and fountains and the man-made 'natural' ones too but I really like the modern sculpture 'Revelation' it looks stunning:)

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    1. Every time we go to Chatsworth the weather has been changeable and cloudy so I've never been able to get good photos of the Emperor Fountain. However, the force of the water combined with the breeze means that every now and again one experiences a slight and refreshing spray of water.

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  4. All the water features at Chatsworth are a joy - they must take lots of maintenance to keep them in such pristine order. To do Chatsworth full justice you really need to visit time and time again, one day is never enough. You are fortunate Linda that you live close by.

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    1. I would never get tired of visiting Chatsworth as there's so much to see in the house and gardens and also on the estate. I would like to see the outer lakes and the estate village. Thankfully we live near enough to go there often. We know how hard the staff work to maintain the house, the gardens and estate in such a good condition so that visitors can enjoy the experience.

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  5. Hi Linda! The garden is amazing! I love carps very much and this one is gorgeous!

    Enjoy your weekend! Sandra xx

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    1. The koi carp was beautiful. You could spend quite a while in each area of the gardens. I see something different each time I visit. I hope your weekend is an enjoyable one :)

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  6. Love all your pictures. I think my favourite of them all is the Revelation flower sculpture and how it opens and closes - amazing.

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    1. Hello Molly. Glad you enjoyed the pictures. The sculptures are dotted about the gardens so it's always a pleasure to find one. I haven't seen 'the squirting tree' yet so will be on the look out for it another time.

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  7. you must have been on beauty overload when you left there, just from the flowers... i really like that Revelation fountain and it is a revelation to me how the water falls through all those places and things and even creates electricity. very interesting info here

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    1. There's certainly beauty everywhere you go on the Chatsworth Estate.

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  8. Hi Linda ... I've just come across from Jo's blog. What a lovely post to read and I enjoyed looking at all your photo's too.

    I love water, it is so peaceful somehow, a very nice estate.

    Hope you have a good weekend

    All the best Jan

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    1. Hello Jan. Thank you for the visit. I like to be in places where there's water, especially rivers and lakes. We're fortunate to be able to enjoy such an essential element for our well being in peaceful surroundings. Have a good weekend yourself.

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  9. The water features are spectacular, each and everyone of them. The flower that opens would enchant me. Oh my the color of the blue iris is amazing! What a very lovely place to visit. When we come to England next May we are scheduling our trip so we can attend the Chelsea Flower show.

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    1. I'm sure you'll enjoy the Chelsea Flower Show. You must be looking forward to your trip.

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  10. Your photos take us on a marvelous tour Linda! What an amazing place. The opening flower sculpture is impressive.

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    1. Thank you Denise. I could have sat there for a long time watching the flower sculpture open and close.

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  11. There's just no head to the interesting things to see here, are there?

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    1. There's a lot to see and something interesting for everyone whether you're interested in art treasures in the house, history, gardening or walking around the estate.

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  12. What a fascinating place....imagine actually living there back in the day! Wow.....Revelation really is astonishing, how beautiful! So many stunning sculptures and beautiful fountains....a stunning place to visit! A riviting post.xxx

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    1. The State Apartments are sumptuous. The late Dowager Duchess and the present Duke and Duchess have always taken an interest in the management of the estate and you can sense this even as a visitor.

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  13. Fabulous post. The wild area down by the stream and rockery is just gorgeous. I can quite see how Dan Pearson was inspired by it.

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    1. The formal gardens near the house are beautiful, but I do prefer the woodlands and wild area. Hopefully I shall go back another time.

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