Historic Drinking Fountain Brought Back to Life

Clean water now available at Turnham Green Terrace , following restoration project


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A ceremony was held this Thursday (12 March) to mark the completed restoration and relaunch of the previously disused drinking fountain on Turnham Green Terrace.

The project, which cost £14,000, was spearheaded by local councillor John Todd, with funding help from Heritage of London Trust, Hounslow Council, and the Metropolitan Drinking Fountain Association.

The fountain can now give clean drinking water for passers-by and local residents and their pets. And with the current emphasis on saving plastic bottles, people will be able to refill their reusable bottles from the tap and dogs will also be catered for with a dog bowl at the bottom.

Cllr John Todd, pictured above with Nicola Stacey of HoLT and leader of Hounslow Council, Steve Curran) cut the ribbon and said; 'I'm thrilled that we have managed to bring the fountain back to life." He thanked all those who had helped bring the project to successful fruition, including staff at Hounslow Council, the Heritage of London Trust, the Metropolitan Drinking Fountain Association, and others. This great achievement had been down to teamwork, he added.

Hounslow Highways and Thames Water assisted with suitable water piping. London Stone Conservation Ltd refurbished the fountain.

Leader of the council, Steve Curran also attended as did Dr Nicola Stacey, Director of the Heritage of London Trust, and James Cayzer-Colvin, chairman of the Trust.

The rose granite fountain had lost its finial on top and its spouts were not working.
The spouts have been reconditioned and Thames Water has installed completely new piping
to run fresh drinking water from the mains water supply. The historic lettering around the
plinth has been restored and regilded.

john todd and site team at fountain

Some of those involved in the restoration project

The fountain appears to be of the 124 design that was common across London in the early twentieth century, providing water for animals and humans. There is a similar fountain in Grove Park, which the DFA assisted in restoring. You can read our story about the history of the fountain here.

The drinking fountain was gifted by the Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough
Association in 1902, and cost £20 to erect. The Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough Association (MDFCTA) set up drinking fountains across London from the 1850s to early 20th century for public use.

There are over 100 listed drinking fountains in the Greater London area. The vast majority are no longer in working order. Many, such as this one, are located in public parks and gardens or close to tube stations. The fountain is located 20 metres from Turnham Green tube station, on the edge of Chiswick Back Common and located at the 'Chiswick Piazza' public space.

The fountain before it was restored

The fountains were built in granite, some pink and some grey. Originally the water from the spout was collected in metal cups secured with chains to bronze eyelets on top of the bowl. However that was deemed to be unhygienic as there was a potential for disease to be spread, and the cups were also stolen or vandalised. Original designs also featured a rosette as a delivery spout.

Dr Nicola Stacey, Director, Heritage of London Trust, said: “Historic drinking fountains are found in every London borough but the vast majority are not working. They offer a really easy way to make London more sustainable. We’re so pleased to have worked with Hounslow Council, Thames Water and London Stone Conservation to bring this one back to life and we hope that it will be one amongst many across the city reducing plastic waste and keeping Londoners hydrated.”

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March 12, 2020

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