We have been very busy here at Chatsworth this week preparing for the spring bank holiday, which once again will feature our water spectacular! This water spectacular will include playing all of the fountains, walking tours of the fountains by the guides and turning on all the extra exciting bits that we don’t normally run. We have a lot of water in the lakes at the moment, so we are very lucky to be able to do this over the whole nine days.

In preparation Glen Facer, one of the gardeners here at Chatsworth, gave us a mini tour of the waterworks in the sunshine this morning. We got a great look at the amazing cogs, wheels and engineering that run features such as the cascade and the Emperor fountain, and all got to get hands on turning the water on and off, and up and down. When the Emperor fountain was created by Joseph Paxton in 1843, it reached an (optimistic) height of 296 feet. More recently it has played to around 90 feet and occasionally, when we’ve opened the valves as far as we can, as high as 150 feet.

This winter Steve Porter, our Head Gardener, has been working with the Fountain Workshop in Kent to create a new nozzle which we hope will allow us to break the 200 feet mark. Steve has done a couple of tests, and has made it as high as 170 feet, but unfortunately it has been too windy as yet to break the 200 feet mark. Over the holidays, we will be turning the Emperor fountain up as high as we can on all of the days and hoping that the wind is low. If the weather is favourable, we are pretty confident we can break the 200 feet mark.

Paul Hayes
Visitor Services Manager

May bank holiday fun - Water Spectacular
24 May - 1 June 2014
Included with admission to the garden

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