Saturday 25 October 2008

Come and drink from the biscuit fountain...

I've been up and down Fitzjohn's Avenue more times than I care to remember and have been involved in countless discussions on College Crescent... but rarely about the fountain.

This is located at the bottom of Fitzjohn's opposite Buckland Crescent. The drinking fountain was erected in 1904 in memory to Samuel Palmer - of Huntley and Palmer's biscuits fame - by his family.

It's pretty impressive with a walk-around gallery and a conical tiled roof surmounted by a copper and lead connical.

It is the 'backdrop' to the local street florist which means it is at least protected from daytime vandalism by the effective staffing presence of their being there.

The location is no surprise when you realise that Samuel Palmer had lived at number 40 College Crescent - then called Northcourt - and dated as being built in 1881.

"This fountain together with the
open space on which it is erected
was presented to the borough of
hampstead for the public benefit.
In memory of the late
Samuel Palmer of Northcourt
Hampstead by his widow and family

The old car repair workshop (currently being knocked into shape! was the stables to the house!).

In line with these sorts of memorials the fountain is elaborate - almost too elaborate - but of interest to me is the level of detail and design in the buttons to trigger the water itself.

There is now a modern plaque on the other side (northside) which reflects the later refurbishment of the fountain on 8th October 1994 by the Heath and Old Hampstead Society.

Rather appropriately the unveiling was by the great-niece of Samuel Palmer, Mrs Peggy Jay - herself a driving force in the Heath and Old Hampstead Society.

Other blogged about local fountains:


Anonymous said...

Why do you assume that there would be vandalism here? That is a very negative view of the locality.

Ed Fordham said...

There is some low level graffiti on the memorial - it's not an assumption about the locality but an appreciation of the value of having a flow of people - which the florist provides.

Anonymous said...

I'm so pleased the council have stopped the nearby school committing an act of vandalism by knocking down the lovely old Victorian gothic pile and building yet another nondescript modern glass and plastic monstrosity in it's place. Let's preserve our heritage.