Georgian Boat Tunnels and Boating on the Lake

Can you imagine a time when visitors to the gardens used to paddle around the lake on gondalas? 

These boats were stored underneath the gardens in boat tunnels at the edge of the lake, the triple tunnels here appear on plans dated 1723 and were for a much smaller lake. There is also a single tunnel built under the Italian Garden, you can see the entrance of it near to the frog sculpture. Can you find it?  

There has since been paddle boats operating on the lake since the early 1930s – the original was called ‘Lousiannah Bell’ but she was replaced by Miss Elizabeth, our current passenger boat. 

Image from Staffordshire Archives and Heritage