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Christchurch Fountain

Restoration of the fountain

The fountain was erected in 1900 by the Metropolitan Public Gardens association at the expense of philanthropist John Passmore Edwards, who also provided 3 other drinking fountains across London and 70 public buildings during his lifetime. It has a chamfered square stone base on a plinth with a stone bowl on one side and a modern metal bowl on the other. The fountain has a conical roof with four bracketed wooden corner posts and an elaborate copper finial. The whole structure is set on an octagonal step. A copper inscription commemorates the donation by Passmore Edwards and erection of the fountain.

The fountain is unstable and leaning towards the church. The ground appears to be soft – a concrete subbase, partially exposed underneath the granite base stones, appears to have failed and is causing the entire fountain to subside. One of the Portland stone basins was removed and replaced in 2002 with a steel basin which includes a tap and water feed (no longer working). The wooden roof structure is in overall poor condition. A recent tree fall damaged the wooden beams and the tiled roof. Some of the joints and fixings no longer line up. The copper finial is in good condition. There is currently no running water at the fountain.

Restoration will potentially include an archaeological watching brief to ensure there are no burials remaining in the church yard. The slate tiles and copper finial will be removed. The stonework will be poulticed and the fountain dismantled. A new concrete foundation will be created including a new feed and waste pipe. New taps will be inserted. The existing steel basin and tap will be removed and replaced with a new Portland stone basin, matching the opposite basin. All other stonework will be repaired, and joints repointed. The timber roof structure will be repaired and the slate tiles replaced and the fountain will be connected to water. This project is being supported with thanks to Delancey.

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