Following her childhood visit Queen Victoria returned to Chatsworth in December 1843 with Prince Albert. They only gave 3 weeks’ notice but head gardener Joseph Paxton and his team quickly arranged a magnificent spectacle.

The garden water features were to be illuminated and 1,380 oil lamps were bought and 12,000 more for the Great Conservatory to make it look like ‘a fairy castle’. The Cascade was lit with coloured Bengal lights, changing from white to blue to red. Three thousand Russian lanterns blinked from the trees and the waterworks were lit by lamps.

The gardens were ablaze, the fountains sparkled and at 10 o’clock Paxton gave the signal for a single rocket to be launched. Cannons shot from the Cascade and the hunting tower, coloured lights burst from the robber’s stone and all the while magnificent fireworks exploded over the park.’

Today, at Christmas the illumination of the Cascade continues to delight visitors.