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Monument record MDR6293 - The Fountain Garden, Bolsover Castle, Bolsover, Old Bolsover

Type and Period (2)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

The Fountain Garden is enclosed by the rebuilt 17th century version of the medieval castle's inner bailey wall. There is an arched entrance with rusticated stone piers on the south side giving access from the Great Court which is not shown on a drawing of c. 1633, when the garden was entered from a simple arched opening to the west of the present entrance. The same drawing indicates that the encircling wall was crenellated on each side of a walltop walkway, although the crenellations had disappeared by the end of the 18th century. Three garden apartments are built into the thickness of the Fountain Garden wall, possibly in the position of early 13th century mural towers. The most elaborate is that to the west which has an arched entrance with a lion mask leading to a room with a rib-vaulted roof, an elaborate chimneypiece in the south wall and opposed niches in the east and west walls. Doors lead off to subsidiary rooms on each side, that to the west with a barrel-vaulted roof and that to the east with a barrel vault, a corner chimneypiece and niches, lit by a mullioned window at eaves height. This room post-dates the drawing of c. 1633 as it is in the position of the entrance into the garden, which can be seen as infilled masonry on the outer (south) side of the wall. The south garden room is a single chamber with barrel-vaulted roof and simple fireplace. The east room is lit by a mullioned window above the door and also has a barrel vault and simple fireplace. A blocked doorway in the east wall led to steps running down the slope from the Castle. There are three seating alcoves in the Fountain Garden wall which have arched heads and stone seats supported by consoles, with rectangular niches in the rear walls. The Garden is grassed and has a system of paths and clipped hedges. At the centre, the Venus Fountain is one of a very small number of in situ 17th century fountains in England. It has a deep octagonal well with a crenellated parapet and niches in the inner walls, described in the late 18th century as containing busts of Roman emperors. A central pedestal supports a life-size statue of Venus emerging from her bath. The Fountain may have been constructed in preparation for a Royal visit in 1634, when a masque entitled 'Love's Welcome to Bolsover' was performed in the Fountain Garden. (6)

Sources/Archives (6)

  • <1> Article in serial: Country Life. 1904. Country Life, August 6th, 11th and 15th, 1904.
  • <2> Article in serial: Country Life. 1927. Country Life, October 15th, 1927.
  • <3> Article in serial: Country Life. 1917. Country Life, August 11th, 1917.
  • <4> Bibliographic reference: Faulkener,PA.. 1972. Bolsover Castle (D of E guide book).
  • <5> Bibliographic reference: Girouard, M. 1983. Robert Smythson and the Elizabethan Country House.
  • <6> Bibliographic reference: English Heritage. 1999. Bolsover Castle. Registered Historic Park and Garden description.. PG1665.



Grid reference Centred SK 47 70 (66m by 60m) (Approximate)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (6)

  • EDR3468
  • EDR3469
  • EDR3637
  • EDR3640
  • EDR3638
  • EDR3636

Please contact the HER for details.

External Links (0)

Record last edited

Sep 14 2017 11:34AM

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