Richmond Drinking Fountain

Restoration of the 19th century drinking fountain

Erected around 1870, this drinking fountain is built of Portland stone, plain with Gothic designs. Its upper part is open, topped by a pyramidal roof with a small finial. It is located near the centre of Richmond, on Richmond Green. Roughly 12 acres, the Green has been common land since medieval times, used for grazing sheep as well as jousting tournaments and pageants. Cricket has been played on the Green since the 17th century. It still hosts the traditional May Fair.

Prior to HOLT’s restoration work, the fountain was in a poor state of repair. It had last been restored by private subscription (the donor believed to be Richard Attenborough) in 1977 for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee but was no longer functional. HOLT commissioned Thames Water to run fresh drinking water from the nearby source to the fountain, restoring it to use. HOLT’s restoration work also addressed the hairline cracks beginning to endanger the structural integrity of the fountain, the discoloured stone and the accumulated rust stains. The inappropriate metal dog trough (a late addition) was replaced with a granite basin, scaled to match the drinking basin. The drinking fountain’s industrial 1970’s red brick surround was replaced with York stone. The worn and unattractive stainless steel 1977 plaque inside the fountain was replaced with a new plaque commemorating its current restoration and its history. Decorative fittings were cast as copies of the rosette push button type and all the surviving metal work was cleaned and restored.

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