Chevening cascade reborn
THIS week, the Chevening estate in Kent (Country Life, July 12, 2017 ) is unveiling a new cascade inspired by one shown on a 1719 engraving. the new one, designed by George Carter, celebrates 250 years of the Stanhope family at Chevening (1717–1967) and 50 years of the Chevening trust. the trust was set up thanks to the generosity of the last earl of Stanhope to preserve the house, park and estate, which can be enjoyed as a retreat by a nominated person, usually a Cabinet minister.
the cascade is being reinstated based on both the evidence of the engraving and surviving features discovered in the landscape. elizabeth Banks identified the importance of the formal gardens back in 1988 and produced a scheme for some reinstatement and the cascade builds on this original advice; new hedges are also to be planted in the autumn to give it a more formal setting.
‘the Badeslade engraving illustrates what Lord Stanhope did when he bought the estate in 1717 to modify and extend the simple walled garden to the south of the house,’ explains Mr Carter. ‘the east side of the canal contained a number of waterworks in the 1720s and the great asset of the Chevening site is its plentiful supply of clear north Downs water, which supplies the canal and runs the cascade (without the benefit, as in the 18th century, of electricity).’
the wider history of the house, park and gardens is also celebrated in a new book, Chevening: A Seat of Diplomacy, by Julius Bryant, to be published in October by Paul Holberton Publishing (£30).
The new cascade is inspired by the one recorded in the 1719 Badeslade engraving