The pioneering traveller Celia Fiennes (1662-1741) wrote in 1696, ‘all of a sudden by turning a sluce it raines from each leafe and from the branches like a shower, it being made of brass and pipes to each leafe but in appearance is exactly like willow’.

The present-day fountain is an early 19th century copy to replace the original which had become decayed. It was made by Bowers of Chesterfield who undertook the work for the 6th Duke.

In 1844, the Willow Tree Fountain was given a new lease of life and moved to the northern edge of the Rockery, in a small glade behind a collection of Paxton’s rocks.

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