Guilford Place Fountain
Restoration of the fountain
The Guilford Place fountain was built in 1870, designed by architect Henry Darbishire (May 1825 – 1899). Darbishire was best known for working on philanthropic schemes including projects by Angela Burdett-Coutts, and was the architect of Columbia Market in Bethnal Green. For many years he also worked for the Peabody Trust. The fountain was erected in the memory of the mother of Misses Whiting, Mrs Francis Whiting, who lived in nearby Mecklenburgh Square. The statue is a sculptured marble figure of the ‘Woman of Samaria’, in loose robes and scarf, kneeling on left knee to either fill or pour a water jar. In the story of the woman of Samaria meeting Jesus he embraces her even though she is a social outcast with five previous husbands: “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst.”
The fountain’s location on Lambs Conduit Street, a vibrant and historically significant thoroughfare, ensured that it would serve as a vital resource for residents and passers-by. Next door are Ladies' and Gentlemen's public conveniences with yellow tiles, mahogany doors, decorative grills and their original fittings – in recent years converted to a wine & charcuterie bar.
The project will involve cleaning and poulticing, reconditioning of the existing plumbing, replacement of the rear hatch and stone repairs with indents or if necessary replacing the entire granite treads.