Hadley Green Fountain
Restoration of the fountain.
The Hadley Green Fountain was erected on Hadley Green next to the high road on 8th August 1885 by Miss Ann Paget, supporter of local causes – children, the church, public health – and funder of three public drinking fountains in the area. Along with her sister, Miss Lucy Paget, Ann was a governor and sponsor of Queen Elizabeth Boys School for many years and contributed to the building of Hyde Hall in Barnet in 1903 which became Queen Elizabeth Girls School.
In 1884, the Pagets had proposed a drinking fountain for the area, which was initially turned down. A local letter in the paper read:
“Wanted: A Drinking Fountain! Sir – the Misses Paget made a most generous offer to the Hadley Commoners of a drinking fountain, which, according to your report in the last week’s paper, the said Commoners, with their accustomed obliquity of vision, have seen fit to decline. Will the Barnet Local Board sanction the erection of one within reach of the cattle attending the market; and if so, can the Misses Paget be persuaded to extend their kind offer? It would, I think, be difficult to find in Barnet anyone ready to say, as Mr Milne did of Hadley, “I don’t think as a parish we want the fountain.” – Yours, DRY AS DUST”
An article in the Barnet Press the following year, 1885, notes the Hadley Green fountain was up and in good use:
“Band of Hopeists, Blue Ribbonists, and Infantile Teetotallers about Barnet owe a debt of gratitude to Miss Paget for her generous gift of the handsome fountain at Hadley Green, which must prove a valuable auxiliary to their own mission. According to the crowd of boys and girls one constantly sees around the fountain, solacing themselves with the ladle that cheers but not inebriates, our juvenile population has a capacity for cold water scarcely imagined by many of us. The four sides of the fountain barely suffice at times to meet the demand on it.”
Ann Paget died in 1916 leaving £50,000 in her will.
The fountain is of Aberdeen pink granite, was not working, with missing taps on three sides and some small stone losses, eg under one of the basins.
The fountain was cleaned, poulticed and then dismantled, using a gantry frame and chain block. All old plumbing was removed and new water feed pipes connected free of charge by Affinity Water. Stone losses were replaced, and the fountain was repointed throughout with lime mortar with the lettering 1885 gilded. This project was funded by HOLT and Barnet Council and completed in 2023.