Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Chatworth's gardens

The gardens and parkland surrounding Chatsworth House are celebrated - though unfortunately far from their best when it's chucking it down with rain! The wider park was landscaped between 1760 and 1764 by 'Capability' Brown, the renowned garden creator who pioneered the 'natural' landscaping of so many of Britain's great country estates.

The gardens themselves have evolved over time. The yew maze, below, is built on the site where once stood a huge glass conservatory constructed in 1840. It required vast amounts of coal, brought in by an underground railway, to fuel the heating. During WW1, when coal was in short supply, the plants all died and eventually the building was demolished in 1920. Astonishing!

One of a number of gravity-fed waterworks in the garden, the Squirting Willow Tree Fountain is unusual and quite effective. The original was made of brass in 1695 and the present fountain is a 19th century copy. 

One of the most famous features in the garden is the 300 year old Cascade, where water tumbles down a series of steps, all of slightly different heights so that the sound changes as the water flows down. Currently the Cascade is enlivened by a buxom reclining nude sculpture, though I wasn't able to discover the artist.


  1. That last statue is either by, or heavily influenced by, Fernando Botero, whose work has been described as exhibiting "exaggerated and disproportionate volumetry" (which seems to be a PC way of saying "fat").

    1. Yes, it is by him. See here:

    2. Ah yes, I think you're right. Well done, Poirot. I spent ages trying to find it online , without success.

  2. Amazing garden,even in the rain. Not sure the Botero enhances the cascade.. .

  3. I like the nude in that location!

  4. Familiar views, but given its prominence in documentaries and film making, that's understandable about Chatworth.

  5. I've come to the party, late. It is Fernando Botero's "Reclining Nude".


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