Cliveden in Cinderella

The Fountain of Love at Cliveden in Buckinghamshire

If you’re watching Disney's 2015 rendition of "Cinderella", keep your eyes peeled for some special appearances from a few features more commonly seen in the gardens at Cliveden.

On the big screen

A number of the grand features in the magnificent gardens caught the imagination of the team behind Disney’s latest live-action film and make an appearance in the film. The impressive Fountain of Love which sits at one end of the drive provided the inspiration for the striking water feature in front of the royal palace whilst our gilded clock tower features as the all-important clock that strikes midnight, sending Cinderella fleeing from the ball.

Seeking inspiration

The art department paid a number of visits to the gardens to study and photograph the Fountain of Love before recreating a giant shell fountain several times the size of the original on set. In the film, the shell fountain sits in the gardens of the royal palace and provides the backdrop for Cinderella’s arrival at the ball in her golden ‘pumpkin’ coach. Similarly the 30-metre clock tower with its four golden faces was photographed in detail – although a little bit of modern technology helped to create the dramatic midnight chime.

Historical masterpieces

The Fountain of Love was commissioned by William Waldorf Astor and still forms a dramatic focal point on the approach to the house. Designed by Thomas Waldo Story in 1897, the Sienna marble shell was constructed from 11 pieces of marble whilst 13 jets send water arcing into the mosaic bowl below. The Clock Tower was built some years earlier in 1861 for the estate’s then owners, the Sutherland family. Its primary function was to serve as a water tower and the tanks continue to provide water to the house today.

A favourite fairy tale

Inspired by the classic fairy tale, “Cinderella” brings to life the timeless images from Disney’s 1950 animated film as fully-realised characters. The story follows the fortunes of young Ella (played by Lily James) who finds herself forced to become a servant to her new Stepmother and her daughters who spitefully rename her Cinderella. When Ella meets a dashing stranger in the woods, unaware that he is really the Prince (Richard Madden), she believes she has finally found a kindred soul. However, Ella’s hopes of encountering the charming stranger at the royal ball are dashed when her Stepmother forbids her from attending. But, help is at hand and a kindly beggar woman steps forward and, armed with a pumpkin, a few mice and a magic wand, changes Cinderella’s life forever.

The ‘real’ Fountain of Love and Clock Tower can been seen by visiting the gardens at Cliveden