The cistern was originally used to keep wine bottles cool as part of a great buffet. The interior is engraved with the arms of Richard, the 3rd Earl of Burlington and decorated with masks, shells, scrollwork and straps. In 1770, it is recorded as being at Chiswick House where the Boyle silver appears to have remained as a group.
The silversmith, David Tanqueray was apprenticed to David Willaume who had made a pair of identical wine coolers for the 1st Duke of Devonshire.
Today the cistern is used by the family as a baptismal font in the Chapel.