Parlington Hall :: Fish Fountain identified

One of the first pictures to come to light when I began the research into Parlington Hall was a view from the south east corner of the gardens towards the Conservatory and Drawing Room. The photograph came courtesy of the Garforth Historical Society but the origin was unknown, in the foreground of the photograph, see header picture, is a rocky outcrop in the centre of a pathway with a curved piece of stone protruding from the top. The item was identified on the 1908 ordnance map (B) and indicated as a fountain. The details of this garden feature remained an enigma for some time and with the later discovery of the stereo photographs the location was better understood and the construction more apparent. It seemed that the fountain was a fish, its body at the head being horizontal with its tail bending through ninety degrees, to upright, and its end fins curled back on the tail, to form a loop. Its face and mouth pointing towards the Hall with water being spewed from a jet in the mouth into a stone bowl below.

1908 OS Map (B)

The bowl into which the water discharged from the fish's mouth, is clearer in the stereo photographs (D & E) and appears to be a shell shape. Inspecting the ground in the vicinity of the location is not easy as the area is nowadays in a cherry plantation, so the footpaths, svelte lawns and flower beds are gone for ever, of the fountain there is no trace. Photo (D) shows a stepped grassy terracing behind the main fountain, which can be seen on the plan by the short lines forming two converging planes at the north end of the Dark Arch and the boundary wall enclosing Parlington Lane. The northern most lines touch the letter "n" of Parlington, and above past the tree icon is a curved string of lines which denotes a hollow at the centre of which was the fountain in the footpath. The gravel path formed an oval touching the end of the Conservatory, and as it sweeps round in photo (C) in the distance is a large tree. This same tree is extant today and is a mighty larch with a massive bulbous gnarled base. How it has escaped the woodman's saw is a miracle! Photo (F) is taken from around about the location of the fountain looking towards the larch tree as photo (C), the trunk is partly obscured by the profusion of cherry trees.

Stereo Photo (C)

1860's view of the gardens across to the Larch tree from the fish fountain, note the footpath beyond the tree. In the left corner of the photo is one of the large specimen Cedars, the stump of which is just visible in the ground today, very rotted down, but it does verify the layout.

Stereo Photo (D)

The fish fountain in the distance beyond the main fountain, also directly behind the large fountain can be seen the stepped terracing which is mentioned in the earlier paragraph referring to the plan.

Stereo Photo (E)

The bowl of the fountain is facing away from the camera but just sufficient is in view to make out the shell like shape of the bowl.

2010 photo (F) Larch Tree

This view of the larch tree is from the approximate location of the stereo photo (C), 150 years on.

The Fish Fountain Page 2

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