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Fonthill Lake

Coordinates: 51°05′19″N 2°05′45″W / 51.0886°N 2.0959°W / 51.0886; -2.0959
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Fonthill Lake
Fonthill Lake is located in Wiltshire
Fonthill Lake
Fonthill Lake
LocationWiltshire, England
Coordinates51°05′19″N 2°05′45″W / 51.0886°N 2.0959°W / 51.0886; -2.0959
Basin countriesUnited Kingdom
Max. length1.3 km (0.81 mi)
Max. width100 m (328 ft)

Fonthill Lake (grid reference ST933319) is a lake in southwest Wiltshire, England. It lies just to the south of the village of Fonthill Bishop, east of the village of Fonthill Gifford, and northeast of Fonthill Abbey. The lake is 1.6 km (1 mi) long and approximately 100 m (328 ft) wide at its maximum breadth.

The Fonthill Brook flows out of the southern end of the lake and joins the River Nadder at Tisbury, 2 km (1 mi) to the southeast.[1]

The lake was created in the mid-18th century by building a weir below fish-ponds fed by the brook, for Alderman William Beckford, the builder of the house later known as Fonthill Splendens. In 1987 the extensive landscaped park, including the lake, was recorded as Grade II* on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.[2]

A sizeable population of the introduced Mandarin duck is resident at Fonthill Lake (and on surrounding rivers) together with a number of wild swans.

The lake was used as the location for the filming of the river scenes in the 2000 film Chocolat, which starred Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp.[3] It is also where the ashes of pioneering Everest mountaineer Eric Shipton were scattered.[4]

See also



  1. ^ "Development Brief, Hindon Lane, Tisbury" (PDF). Salisbury District Council. 2006. Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  2. ^ Historic England. "Fonthill - park and garden (1000322)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 16 June 2020.
  3. ^ "Film Locations for Chocolat (2000), in France and the UK". The Worldwide Guide to Movie Locations. Retrieved 6 April 2021.
  4. ^ "On 28 March 1977, at 7:30 in the evening, Eric Shipton died peacefully. He was cremated in Salisbury and his ashes were scattered on the Fonthill Lakes [sic], overlooking the part of England he loved above all else." (Peter Steele, Eric Shipton: Everest and Beyond, p. 254).