The Arethusa fountain in Bushy Park dates from the early 17th century and forming the centre piece of Sir Christopher Wren’s grand approach to Hampton Court Palace is steeped in history. In the 1630’s the Arethusa fountain was moved in 1656 on the orders of Oliver Cromwell to Hampton Court following the Civil War. In 1713 the Arethusa fountain was repositioned in a newly dug pond, where it was gilded and remounted on a new Portland Stone plinth, increasing its prominence within the Grand Avenue to Hampton Court. The fountain comprises a fine marble structure complete with intricate carvings of fish, crabs, shells and other water and other water creatures mounted on a Portland Stone base rising from the waters of the surrounding pond. The Fountain is adorned by a unique collection of bronzes cast by French royal sculptor Hubert Le Sueur and is recognised by English Heritage as one of the most important groups of sculpture in Britain.
The display has been altered from its original design, the sixteen low level supplies from the central riser to the Lower Weir Bowls have been removed and left capped off, along with the eight Upper Weir Bowl inlets and the eight Scallop shell Bowl inlets. The four fishes held aloft by cherubs incorporate new delivery pipelines from the central riser along with the four spouts for the Fishes at the base of the Nymph’s and the four deliveries to the Nymph’s. Each of these deliveries incorporates flow regulation within the fountain structure core.A new underground chamber has been constructed at the edge of the pond on the line of the existing gravity supply pipe to the fountain. Within the chamber are three pot strainers linked together by a pipe manifold, each incorporating an isolation valve.