Charlecote Park water garden

Description of this historic site

The site of a water garden that was constructed around 1682 for Sir Thomas Fairfax Lucy. The garden was destroyed in the 18th century during the remodelling of the garden by Capability Brown. They were situated to the north of Charlecote Park house.

Notes about this historic site

1 Vague vegetation marks show on air photographs.
2 The features showing on air photographs are the remains of a water garden constructed in c.1682 at the instigation of Sir Thomas Fairfax-Lucy. The water gardens were subsequently demolished and replaced in the remodelling of the gardens by ‘Capability’ Brown from 1760. The water gardens are depicted in a painting of c.1695 (possibly by John Stevens) which hangs at Charlecote.
4 Additional air photographs were taken in 1990 on which more detail can be identified, including the position of the turret structure at the north end of the double canal.
5 Shown in illustration of 1722 by Beighton.
6 1722 illustration shows a geometrical scheme with walks, parterres, pools and end bastions.
7 Reproduction of 1722 illustration.
8 Rapid field survey of the earthworks. Contra 2 this suggests that the formal water gardens were constructed by Captain Thomas Lucy between 1677 and 1684. Earthworks appear to confirm a layout more akin to that shown on the 1736 survey, rather than the painting of the 1690s – see 2. Comprised of an outer, broadly L-shaped canal with corner bastion, enclosing a shorter, straighter inner canal, both infilled in the 1760s by Capability Brown. Most of the form of the outer canal can be detected, but the inner one is not traceable.
9Both canals show clearly on HER lidar layer. The HER holds air photos that show parch marks of the foundations of the summer house shown at the north end of the canals.

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