Albion Square Fountain
Restoration of the fountain
John Passmore Edwards (1823 – 1911) was a political and social reformer and anti-slavery campaigner and became one of the most successful newspaper proprietors of his time. Briefly MP for Salisbury, he subsequently put his energies into philanthropy, funding more than 70 public buildings: libraries, hospitals, convalescent homes, schools, art galleries and museums. In 1906 his autobiography notes: "To place drinking-water within reach of many of the poorest, I have, in co-operation with the Metropolitan Drinking Fountains Association and the Metropolitan Public Gardens Association, placed drinking-fountains in Victoria Park; Stalbridge Common, Hackney; The Broadway, Hammersmith; Edgware Road, Kilburn; the Public Gardens, Woolwich; Duncan Terrace, Islington; Christchurch, Blackfriars; Hoxton Square; Leyton Square, Camberwell; Rotherhithe Street, Bermondsey; and Hackney Road Ground, Shoreditch. In constructing these fountains the dog, that faithful friend of man, and destined so often to be cut up alive to satisfy deplorable vivisectionist curiosity, has not been forgotten." The Albion Square fountain is his 12th fountain, erected when he was 87 years old, and is one of only 3 to survive.
This is the only one which dispenses drinking water.
The fountain was cleaned, removing all staining using a poultice, then dismantled. New plumbing and waste has been integrated with piping to the nearest Thames Water manhole. New taps were set into the original rosette taps. The existing drainage grilles were be removed and the drainage was improved. All joints were repointed in a suitable, colour matching lime mortar. The lettering was gilded to improve legibility. Restored by HOLT and Hackney Council with thanks to local resident Rosemary More in 2023.