One of the most recognisable features on the park is the bridge over the lakes. It was a Capability Brown design from 1776: he envisaged “the plinth and cornice of stone – the rest brick” and no one has interfered with this since. 

The bridge itself is an ornate disguise for a necessary piece of engineering. There is a difference in elevation between the two lakes – the design was for the surface of the lakes to be visible from Burton Constable, but this proved difficult to realise. The north lake is raised considerably higher than the south lake, and a dam was required to achieve this. The bridge was Brown’s elegant solution to this; a dam dressed up as a bridge. 

You can walk over the bridge to enjoy the views of both lakes and see how different they are in height. In the summer the north lake is full of lily pads that come right up to the bridge; in the spring the swans and their ugly ducklings paddle around the south lake. And if there is a huge amount of rain and the water level rises enough in the north lake, an impromptu water feature is created in the form of a waterfall as it spills over into the south lake! 

If you walk over the bridge and turn right to walk along the side of the south lake, just inside the parkland you will see a nineteenth-century “ladies’ bathing pool” for ladies to enjoy a swim and safeguard their modesty whilst men would swim in the lake. The pool was restored by the park’s founder John Constable (“Mr C”) in 2008.