Atlas Fountain

The Atlas Fountain stands in the grounds of Castle Howard, North Yorkshire, England. It has been designated a Grade I listed building and is now recorded in the National Heritage List for England, maintained by Historic England.[1]

Atlas Fountain
18-Castle Howard-028.jpg
Atlas Fountain at Castle Howard
LocationCastle Howard, North Yorkshire, England
Coordinates54°07′13″N 0°54′19″W / 54.12018°N 0.90537°W / 54.12018; -0.90537Coordinates: 54°07′13″N 0°54′19″W / 54.12018°N 0.90537°W / 54.12018; -0.90537
OS grid referenceSE 71644 69921
Built forGeorge Howard, 7th Earl of Carlisle
Restored byThe Earth Stone and Lime
ArchitectWilliam Andrews Nesfield and John Thomas
Listed Building – Grade I
Designated22 June 1987
Reference no.1148973
Atlas Fountain is located in North Yorkshire
Atlas Fountain
Location in Yorkshire


The Atlas Fountain and pond dates from 1850. It was exhibited at The Great Exhibition prior to installation.[2]

It was designed by William Andrews Nesfield and the sculpted figures were carved in Portland stone by John Thomas who was paid £1183 10s 3d (equivalent to £127,414 in 2021)[3] for his work. The figures were transported by rail from London to Castle Howard railway station.

The tazza, pedestals, shells and basin were made by local craftsmen. The water engineering was completed by James Easton,[4] taking water from a stream in Coneysthorpe and using a steam engine to pump it uphill to the Ray Wood reservoir.[5]

The fountain was turned on for the first time in October 1853.

The fountain was overhauled in 1983 and again by The Earth Stone and Lime in 2012.


A large globe of bronze dominates the fountain supported on the shoulders of Atlas. Four recumbent Tritons blow water through shells over Atlas kneeling on a pedestal in the central tazza. Other jets fill the lower scallop shell basins, which overflow into the central basin producing a dramatic cascade of white water.

The fountain is fed from the half-million gallon Ray Wood reservoir, to the east of the main house. Gravity feeds water into a chamber beneath the pond basin where pipes direct it to the main outlets in the Triton's shells.[6]

The pond is approximately 27 metres (89 ft) in diameter.

Atlas Fountain


  1. ^ Historic England. "Atlas Fountain and Pond (1148973)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
  2. ^ Castle Howard Guidebook, G. Howard. 1972
  3. ^ UK Retail Price Index inflation figures are based on data from Clark, Gregory (2017). "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved 11 June 2022.
  4. ^ English Gardens and Landscapes, Christopher Hussey. 1700–1750, Country Life. 1967.
  5. ^ Fountains and Water Features: From Ancient Springs to Modern Marvels. Rosalind Hopwood, Frances Lincoln Ltd, 2009
  6. ^ "Atlas Fountain Restoration :: Castle Howard – Historic Estate, House and Gardens, Yorkshire". Castle Howard. 10 May 2010. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. Retrieved 1 April 2014.