Canal Pond & the Great Fountain

The Canal Pond was dug between 1702 and 1703. Its construction involved the removal of Flora’s Garden, shown to the south of the great parterre on Kip and Knyff’s aerial view. The Canal Pond is set a few inches higher than the South Lawn, so when it is viewed from the south end of the pond, the house appears to rise from the water.

An ‘earthe house’ – presumably the ice house by the Canal Pond – was built and thatched in 1728, and was used until the 1920s to supply ice, from the Canal Pond to the house kitchens, before the invention of the refrigerator.

There has been a fountain playing at the north end of the Canal since the pond was dug. Named the Great Fountain, it is flanked by two river gods, attributed to Nadauld. It was admired for nearly 150 years for, being the highest in the country, reaching 28 metres. It was supplied from what is now called Morton’s Pond. The Emperor Fountain, engineered by Joseph Paxton, replaced the Great Fountain as the main spectacle in the Canal Pond 1844.