Categories of Special Interest
Architectural, Artistic, Social
1760 - 1800
Freestanding granite public drinking fountain, installed c.1780, round in plan with half-round water trough to east elevation, having tall fluted frieze with cornice and half-round domed cap. Concave wings bracing either side of fountain. Curved front to Cavendish Row, flat side to Assembly Rooms (now The Ambassador). Curved cobbles and granite paving set in semi-circle to Cavendish Row, set within concrete paving slabs. Flat elevation to west with smaller half-round water trough set in fluted and scalloped niche, framed on either side by engaged pilasters supporting curved backdrops.
In the late eighteenth century, urban drinking fountains were funded by philanthropists to provide clean drinking water in city centres. This fountain is located close to the Lying-In Hospital, a charitable maternity hospital established in the mid-eighteenth century by Dr. Bartholomew Mosse. The charitable hospital was funded by subscriptions and entrance fees to the hospital gardens and assembly rooms. The fountain is located to the east of the Assembly Rooms, which were built to the designs of John Ensor in 1764. The fountain has been moved from its original location which may have been further north than its current site, and no longer functions as a fountain.