A little history of Water Fountains

Water fountains first appeared in the ancient Middle East and they can be seen on the wall paintings on Egyptian tombs. They were often rectangular and lined with trees, providing a cool sanctuary to rest from the heat of the sun. They would often feature in the inner courtyard of a home, with the walls providing another barrier against the blasting hot temperatures outside.

It was the Persians who really started to make complex architectural stone fountains. The Romans had elaborate public-bathing rituals embedded in their culture and communal pools with fountains were a feature of every Roman town and city, as we see today in many famous ruins.

The Spaniards, Indians, Chinese and Japanese all have long history of exquisite fountain design dating right back to the 15th century. It was Renaissance Italy that saw a huge boom in the ingenuity and complexity of water features and spouting water fountains and waterfalls were copied throughout Europe. King Louis XIV of France, the Sun King, was a fountain enthusiast and used them to enhance his own reputation as a conqueror — in this case, over nature. The gardeners at Versailles combined shooting water from fountains with music and fireworks to create great spectacles. These were not the first ever musical fountains, though, as some were described as long ago as the first century AD by Hero of Alexandria.

By the late 18th century the trend turned towards more natural-looking fountains in tune with the elements, such as those at Stourhead in Wiltshire which were created to resemble an Arcadian paradise.

In the 20th century water fountains had long since lost their essential function as a source of drinking water and found their way into everyday spaces such as shopping malls and office buildings. Ever more amazing water fountains continue to be designed and constructed as they never seem to lose their hold on the collective imagination. The tallest continually running fountain in the world is now fed direct from the Red Sea and shoots 260 metres into the air in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The Middle East may be the originator of water fountains as garden feature, but they have gone on to be the exponent of cutting-edge technology and breath-taking design.

If you would like to continue the age-old tradition of having a water fountain in your garden, why not give us a call? We would be happy to talk you through the many varieties available and the simple installation process.

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