Chatsworth is turning up the taps this May bank holiday (4-6 May) for a water spectacular celebrating the return to the garden of Angela Conner's iconic 'Revelation' bronze flower sculpture, gravity-fed from the lakes above the estate.
Made from stainless steel, resin & gold dust, the 5m high and 6.5m wide sculpture has been returned to the Jack Pond following extensive restoration work. Its outer 'petals' open and close due to the changing weight of water to reveal the golden globe within, each cycle taking around eight minutes.
Revelation is just one of Chatsworth's famous gravity-fed water features and during the bank holiday water spectacular the waterworks around the garden will be playing at intervals throughout the day as well as featuring in free garden tours starting at 11.30am and running hourly till until 4.30pm.
Throughout the three days of the bank holiday weekend the Emperor Fountain will be taken up to double its normal height - at around 200ft it sends its plume flying across the Canal Pond; water will come pouring put out of the mouths of stone fish after running over the roof of the Cascade House; hidden water jets coming out the floor of the Cascade House and in the glade around the Willow Tree fountain may surprise the unsuspecting visitor - younger family members are unlikely to be able to resist the opportunity to get a good soaking. The garden tours include a five minute talk at each water feature given by one of Chatsworth's knowledgeable guides.
As well as the water spectacular half-term at Chatsworth will include:
- Dixieland roving jazz duo performing daily at the house entrance and in the garden
- Patrick Cooke and his barrel organ performing daily at the farmyard
- Brough shires - operating horse and dray rides along the broad walk on Sunday & Monday only
- Three major art exhibitions - William Turnbull large-scale sculptures, drawings and paintings; Emma Tennant watercolours; Rembrandt landscape drawings
Water has always played an important role in the garden at Chatsworth with the famous Cascade, Canal Pond and Willow Tree Fountain dating back to the days of the 1st Duke in the 1680s.
The Emperor Fountain was created in 1843 at the instigation of the 6th Duke who asked his renowned head gardener Sir Joseph Paxton to create a new record-breaking gravity-fed fountain in anticipation of a visit from Czar Nicholas, the Emperor of Russia, who never visited but nonetheless lent his name to the fountain. The Emperor Fountain is powered by a 16in (40cm) iron pipe direct from the Emperor Lake 400ft (122m) above.
The water spectacular is dependent on sufficient water being in the system to feed the additional activity. The lakes which supply the gravity-fed waterworks hold approximately 150 million litres and can be seen from the Stand Wood walks.
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Notes to Editors:
1. The Chatsworth House Trust
An independent charity (no 511149) set up by the 11th Duke of Devonshire in 1981, to ensure the long-term survival of Chatsworth for the benefit of the public. All admission and event income from visitors, together with a percentage of income from shops and restaurants, goes directly to this Trust, and can only be spent on the upkeep and improvement of the house, collections, garden, farmyard and park.
Chatsworth is 16 miles from the MI, 10 miles from Chesterfield, and 8 miles north of Matlock, in the heart of Derbyshire's Peak District National Park and is well served by transport links throughout the UK.
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