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Hyde Vale Fountain

Restoration of the Victorian fountain

The fountain and associated cattle trough were erected by the Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough Association in 1877. An inscription on the trough’s west end commemorates ""IN MEMORIAM ROBERT TROTTER ESQ 1877."" The fountain is nine feet high and constructed from Portland limestone, with a hipped roof and cast iron lamp post at the top. It is set on a two tier Yorkstone base, although the base section tier is covered in its entirety in concrete render. The cattle trough is of granite. Robert Trotter has a smaller drinking fountain dedicated to him in Pelham Crescent Gardens, Fulham. He is believed to have been a magistrate born c. 1797 in London, who lived at 26 Thurloe Square. It is possible the cattle trough was moved at some point from Fulham to Blackheath where it would have had a longer practical use.

There was heavy erosion to all surfaces of the stone, which resulted in loss of detail and cracks visible throughout. Several areas of the fountain were repaired with cementitious mortar, which had mostly failed and the spouts and fittings were missing on all sides. The fountain was cleaned and areas of carbon staining poulticed with ammonium carbonate. Failed cementitious repairs were removed and replaced. New plumbing was installed, plus new taps. The existing lantern pole was cleaned of rust, primed and repainted and a new lantern with a LED light supplied and fitted to the top of the lantern post.

The project was supported by the Heritage of London Trust, Historic England, the Greenwich Society and the Peter Harris Trust. The project was managed by the Royal Borough of Greenwich and completed in 2022.

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