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Chatsworth House parkland works
Chatsworth House, east of Bakewell, Derbyshire
associated engineer
Sir Joseph Paxton
date  1826 - 1844
era  Georgian  |  category  Landscaping (large scale)  |  reference  SK261702
Joseph Paxton, Head Gardener at Chatsworth, made significant contributions to the layout of the estate parklands and undertook major works, including the creation of the Emperor Fountain. From his position at Chatsworth, he pioneered the idea of publicly funded parks in towns and cities.
After his appointment as Head Gardener in 1826, he set out to redesign the gardens of Chatsworth House. His first project was to establish a pinetum adjacent to the recently completed north wing of the house. This was later extended to a forty acre arboretum, which can still be seen today.
Other large scale projects included the design and layout of Edensor, a village set within the estate, and a six acre rock garden said to have been inspired by a trip to the Swiss Alps. There is a single rock that stands to a height of 14m.
However, the most dramatic of Paxton's additions to Chatsworth was the gravity fed Emperor Fountain. Over six months in 1844, he set up a drainage system on the moorland above the house and constructed an eight acre reservoir, which acts as a header lake providing the necessary pressure to project the water in the fountain to a height of 85m, a spectacular sight that can still be seen today.
With his combination of imagination, engineering skills and organisation, Paxton was instrumental in the popularity and commercial success of publicly funded parks in towns and city centres, providing amenity and greenery to otherwise built up industrial and commercial areas.
Paxton was also responsible for Chatsworth's two large span glasshouses, the Great Conservatory and the Lily House, both now demolished.
Research ND
"A History of Architecture" by Sir Bannister Fletcher
The Athlone Press, London, 1963 (seventeenth edition, revised R.A. Cordingley)
"Building Systems Industrialisation and Architecture"
by Barry Russell
John Wiley & Sons, London, 1981
"The Macmillan Encyclopedia of Architecture and Technological Change"
edited by Pedro Guedes
Macmillan, London and Basingstoke, 1979

Chatsworth House parkland works