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Leonard Montefiore Drinking Fountain

Restoration of the fountain

The Leonard Montefiore drinking fountain was erected in 1884 in memory of Leonard Montefiore (1853 - 1879). He was a friend of luminaries of the day, including Oscar Wilde and Arnold Toynbee, and himself Secretary of the Society for the Extension of University Teaching in Tower Hamlets, a member of the Jewish Board of Guardians aged 25 and supporter of women's suffrage. Montefiore moved to America in 1878 but died aged 27. The fountain is believed to be Montefiore's only memorial and an important reminder of the history of the Jewish East End. It is one of the last fragments of the historic Jewish east end.

The fountain has two inscriptions: commemorative words and a poem. It was in a very poor state - all its metalwork had been removed, it was not working and had graffiti on it. The HOLT grant was be used to dismantle and fully restore the fountain to working order.

In February 2023, following its restoration, the fountain was unveiled by Rabbi Julia Neuberger and Rabbi Dr Andrew Goldstein, alongside HOLT and local campaigner Clive Bettington.

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