Chevening cas­cade re­born

Country Life Every Week - - TOWN & COUNTRY - Jeremy Mus­son

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

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