Gardens of Chatworth and its "Revelation" Water Display

“Revelation,” the latest inclusion to the decorative garden fountains of Chatsworth, was developed by renowned British sculptor Angela Conner. She was commissioned by the late 11th Duke of Devonshire to create a limited edition bust of Queen Elizabeth, in 2004/5 in commemoration of the Queen’s 80th birthday. 115125-11203__25478.jpg One of Chatsworth’s most well-known ponds, Jack Pond, had “Revelation” installed in it in 1999. Taking the shape of four large flower petals that open and close with the flow of water, the metallic fountain alternatively conceals and reveals a golden globe at the center of the sculpture. A metallic globe painted with gold dust was integrated into the sculpture, which stands five meters high and five meters in width. The petals move depending on the flow of water, making this installation an interesting addition to the Gardens of Chatsworth.

A Short History of Garden Water Fountains

As initially developed, water fountains were designed to be functional, directing water from creeks or aqueducts to the inhabitants of towns and settlements, where the water could be used for cooking food, washing, and drinking. Gravity was the power supply of water fountains up until the conclusion of the 19th century, using the potent power of water traveling down hill from a spring or creek to push the water through spigots or other outlets. Typically used as monuments and commemorative edifices, water fountains have inspired men and women from all over the globe throughout the ages. Simple in design, the first water fountains did not look much like modern-day fountains. The very first known water fountain was a stone basin created that was used as a receptacle for drinking water and ceremonial functions. Rock basins are believed to have been first utilized around 2000 BC. Gravity was the energy source that operated the initial water fountains. The location of the fountains was influenced by the water source, which is why you’ll normally find them along reservoirs, waterways, or rivers. Fountains with decorative Gods, mythological monsters, and animals began to show up in Rome in about 6 B.C., crafted from stone and bronze. The extraordinary aqueducts of Rome provided water to the eye-catching public fountains, many of which you can go see today.

Chatsworth and its Dazzling Cascading Fountain

At the back of Chatsworth House, the Cascade garden water fountain forms a spectacular centerpiece to the gardens. Twenty-four irregularly positioned stone steps stretch down the hillside for 200 yards in the direction of the house. Completely gravity fed, the Cascade too is founded on a 17th century French layout. Created for the initial Duke of Devonshire in 1696, this water fountain has continued the same ever since. Standing at the top of the fountain is the Cascade House, from which water flows downward. A compact building, the home is adorned on the outside with marine creatures in bas-relief. Water pressure to the Cascade can be enhanced on special occasions, meaning the Cascade House becomes part of the Cascade sight, as water spills through conduits on its roof and from the jaws of its carved sea creatures, just before proceeding all the way down the Cascade. The size of every step was made slightly different and means that the music of the water cascading fluctuates as it falls down the Cascades, providing a remarkable and calming complement to a stroll through the gardens. This cascade was chosen in a survey, carried out by Country Life in 2004, as England'sbest water fountain.

The Stupendous Santa Maria in Cosmedin Fountain in Rome

Both Christian and pagan relics have been found in large quantities by archaeologists and restorers scouring the area of the Santa Maria in Cosmedin in Rome. Situated in the portico of the nearby basilica one can see the famous marble sculpture known as the Bocca della Verità (Mouth of Truth). The situation of the Santa Maria in Cosmedin fountain (1719) was not in a well-known area and was, therefore, not frequently visited. It was said that there was very little to see in this area because it was abject and abandoned making it an unfriendly place to visit. It was then that the Italian architect Carlo Bizzaccheri was commissioned by Pope Clement XI to build a water fountain in the square outside the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin in an effort to make the area more popular. The task of laying down the church’s foundation started on August 17, 1717.

The blessing of the first rock to be placed in the foundation was followed by medals being tossed in showing the images of the Blessed Virgin, for whom the church is named, and St. John the Baptist, the patron saint of water.

The Varied Styles in Outdoor Fountains

Gardens are great places to take a break from the day-to-day drudgery and get some fresh air and appreciate nature. If you are going to spend a lot of time in yours, it is worth the effort it takes to do it correctly. A beautiful garden will boost any property value, as “curb appeal” is vital to the market value. There are many ways to improve the visual charm of a yard, like adding flowers and plants, artwork, an attractive pavement, or a water feature.

A water fountain can make a significant difference to the charm and tranquility of your garden. A true fantasyland can be created from what used to be a very simple spot. The trickling water of your fountain will not only give you a calming retreat, it will also attract wild birds and other friendly local creatures. All attention will now be focused on the dazzling fountain.


Chatsworth Gardens: The "Revelation" Water Feature
“Revelation,” the most recent inclusion to the beautiful garden fountains of Chatsworth, was developed by recognized British sculptor Angela Conner. In 2004/5 she was commissioned by the now deceased 11th... read more
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