Holkham Hall fountains restored to full glory
The south terraces surrounding the 18th-century Palladian splendour of Holkham Hall, will once again be the focal point for visitors to the park.
Following a seven-month restoration programme, the hall’s Grade II listed fountain, built in the 1850s, has been restored to working order.
And Lord Leicester says he and his family are once again looking forward to using it as a swimming pool again!
Created by Charles Raymond Smith, the renowned Victorian sculptor, the fountain depicts a Greek legend when Perseus rescued Andromeda from being sacrificed to a monster to appease Poseidon, the sea god.
The project, costing in excess of £200,000 has been carried out by Bury St Edmunds-based, Miles Water Engineering.
The restoration has incorporated a new underground pump room in the park to house the pumping and filtration equipment used to recirculate water from the bowl of the fountain through the 25 water jets secluded in the sculpture.
In addition to the fountain’s mechanisms, important repairs have been sensitively carried out to the various statues by Messenger Construction, of Stamford, specialists in stone work.
Originally the fountain’s water source was supplied by a reservoir in the park and was fed by a borehole located under the former stable block in the hall’s adjacent courtyard.
From here the water was pumped uphill and then allowed to flow back to the fountain.
It used 400 gallons (1,818 litres) of water per minute and as a result could only be run for 20 minutes at a time before the water source ran out.
The new system now allows the fountain to be run for long periods of time and can be controlled from within the hall.
As well as creating a magnificent sight with the hall as a backdrop, generations of the Coke family have enjoyed using the fountain for swimming and the 8th Earl and his family have every intention to carry on this tradition.
Viewed from the south state rooms, visitors will be able to see the fountain in full resplendent flow as it operates periodically when the hall is open, Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays between noon-4pm.
Estates director David Horton-Fawkes said: “We are delighted with the outcome of the restoration project. The Grade II-listed fountain is a key part of the façade of Holkham Hall and we hope visitors will enjoy it in full flow once again.”