Much of the volunteers time and efforts in 2017/18 were taken up by the restoration of an old fountain.

Whilst balsam-bashing one of our members discovered what he thought, at first, was a millstone, but was, in fact, the base of the fountain. Strenuous digging revealed the pedestal and bowl, also a cast-iron pipe which gravity-fed the fountain from the “green” pond behind it.

One of our longest standing members, the late Rosemary Boyd, a keen historian, instigated research into the origins of this find. In the Historic England Report on Astley Hall it stated that the 1844 Ordinance Survey Map clearly shows a fountain in that area. It concluded that the fountain could possibly even be 18th century.

We felt that to restore the fountain would be an exciting and worthwhile project and it has been made possible because of a grant we received from Tesco/Groundwork and a small donation from Astley Rotary Club, for which we are very grateful. Also we have received every encouragement and support from Chorley Council.

On the 2nd June 2018 the restored fountain was officially opened and dedicated to the memory of Rosemary by Chorley Mayor Councillor Margaret Lees. Also in attendance was the town’s MP Sir Lindsay Hoyle, members of Rosemarys family and representatives from Tesco, Friends of Astley Park and other groups that Rosemary was involved with.

It is sad that she was not there to see it completed.

Jan Sanderson of the Friends of Astley Park designed the layout of the plants around the fountain.

She explained “the shrubs on the slope above the Fountain are there to hold back the banking and provide evergreen cover and berries for the wildlife. The area between the two walls has moisture loving plants, which include perennials, ornamental grassesand ferns. Around the fountain there are Iris, Candelabra Primroses, Water forget me nots, Marsh Marigolds, Purple Loosestrife, Globe Flower, Bullrushes and Water Lobelia. Around the front of the area there is natural woodland vegetation with the addition of ferns, cowslips, bugle, deadnettle and violas”.

The planting list in full, position reference, plant name and number planted:-

FOUNTAIN PROJECT 1 – plants for top slope

S1 – Cotoneaster adpressus “Little Gem” – 5

S2 – Lonicera pileata – 10

S3 – Mahonia aquifolium “Apollo” – 5

S4 – Pieris formosa “Little Heath” – 5

S5 – Skimmia japonica – 5

S6 – Viburnum davidii – 5

FOUNTAIN PROJECT PLANTS  2 – Between top wall and Fountain wall. 

P1 – Astilbe “Deutschland” – 14

P2 – Astilbe “William Buchanan” – 7

P3 – Chelone obliqua – 7

P4 – Eupatorium purpureum – 3

P5 – Euphorbia polychroma – 7

P6 – Helleborous niger – 7

P7 – Hosta “Big Daddy” – 10

P8 – Lamium maculatum “White Nancy” – 9

P9 – Rodgesia pinatta Superba – 3

P10 – Trollius europaeus – 9

F1 – Matteauccia struthiopteris – 6

OG1 – Carex elata “Aurea” – 14

FOUNTAIN PROJECT PLANTS 3 – Inside the front of the fountain circle.

P11 – Catha palustris Plena – 3

P12 – Iris laevigata – 3

P13 – Iris sibirica “Snow Queen” – 3

P14 – Lobelia cardinalis – 3

P15 – Lythrum virgatum “Dropmore Purple” – 3

P16 – Myosotis scorpoides – 3

P17 – Primula bulleyana – 3

P18 – Primula japonica “Millers Crimson” – 3

P19 – Trollius europus “Lemon Queen” – 3

OG4 – Thypha minima – 3

FOUNTAIN PROJECT PLANTS 4 – Around the front edge of the fountain area.

P20 – Ajuga reptans alba – 9

P21 – Houttuynia cordata “Chameleon” – 9

P22 – Lamium maculatum “Beacon Silver” – 9

P23 – Primula vulgaris – 9

OG3 – Acorus gramineus “ogon” – 6

In the spring of 2019 the project was augmented with the installation of an information board telling the story of the Lost Fountain.

Thanks to Chorley Council staff the Lost Fountain now proudly boasts a knee rail fence.