Object Details

Victoria Fountain

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Makers
General Information
Classification
Object Parts
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History
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Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright for Photograph:

Creative Commons

Location

Street:Old Steine
Town:Brighton
Parish:Brighton
Council:Brighton & Hove City Council
County:East Sussex
Postcode:BN1
Location on Google Map
Object setting:Garden
Access is:Public
Location note:Steine Gardens
In the AZ book:East Sussex
Page:162
Grid reference:F8
The A-Z books used are A-Z East Sussex and A-Z West Sussex (Editions 1A 2005). Geographers' A-Z Map Company Ltd. Sevenoaks.
OS Reference:TQ3104

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Makers

Name : Amon Henry Wilds
     Role:Architect
Company/Group :Eagle Foundry, Gloucester Road, Brighton
     Role:Foundry
Name : W. Pepper (the elder)

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General Information

Commissioned by: John Cordy Burrows
Commissioned also by: Public subscription
Construction period:1846
Unveiling date:24/05/1846
Work is:Extant
Owner custodian:Brighton & Hove City Council
Object listing:Grade II: of special interest warranting every effort to preserve them
Listing date:13/10/1952
Description:Cast-iron pool with egg-and-dart mouldings to the rim. In the pool stands a base of Sarsen stones that were found by workmen in the Steine in 1823, on which rest 3 intertwined hollow dolphins, with pumps inside them, supporting a cast-iron basin; a third basin and column were re-instated following restoration of the fountain in 1990. The dolphin figures were subsequently adopted as the Brighton Coat of Arms, The surrounding area of the Steine, was landscaped into public gardens for the erection of the fountain. Russian guns, captured during the Crimean War, were displayed in the fountain enclosure for a time (1).
Iconographical description:The dolphins symbolise Brighton in the city coat of arms
Signatures:On base of basin, south side:
A.H. WILDS
ARCHITECT
Inscription:Plaque on south side:

TO COMMEMORATE THE VISIT OF
H.R.H. THE PRINCE OF WALES
PRESIDENT OF THE FOUNTAIN SOCIETY
ON 25TH MAY 1995
TO MARK THE RESTORATION OF
THE VICTORIA FOUNTAIN
WITH FUNDING BY BRIGHTON COUNCIL
AND GRANT AID FROM
ENGLISH HERITAGE

Metal plaque on basin, south side:

VICTORIA FOUNTAIN
RESTORED 1994
BY DOROTHEA LTD
BUXTON DERBYSHIRE
Tel 0298 79121

Granite, chequered plaque in front of base, north side:

FOUNTAIN INTERNATIONAL
PROMOTING THE HEALING
OF PEOPLE AND
COMMUNITIES
USING SPIRITUAL
AND EARTH ENERGIES.
FOUNDED HERE ON
ST. MICHAELS DAY 1981

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Classification

Categories:Sculptural, Commemorative, Free Standing, Composite, Animal
Object type1:Sculpture
Object type2:Fountain
     Object subtype1:Ornamental Fountain
Subject type1:Figurative
     Subject subtype1:Group
Subject type2:Allegorical
     Subject subtype1:Group

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Object Parts

Part 1:Sculpture
     Material:Cast iron
     Height (cm):975
Part 2:Base
     Material:Sarsen stones found in 1823

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Object Condition

Overall condition:Good
Risk assessment:No known risk
Condition 1 of type:Structural
     More details:Fountain restored in 1995
Date of on-site inspection:19/04/2007

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History

History:After the Brighton Town Commissioners rejected the idea of erecting a fountain to honour the new Queen’s accession in 1837, a local surgeon, John Cordy Burrows, placed a private commission with Amon Wilds, who was responsible for much of Brighton and Hove’s finest Regency architecture. With the aid of a public subscription of £1,100, augmented by the proceeds of a night at the theatre, a concert at the Town Hall and a Grand Fancy Bazaar, the fountain was built in 1846 and unveiled to mark the Queen’s 27th birthday. Burrows was mayor of Brighton three times and knighted in 1873; his own statue stands at the southern edge of the Steine Gardens (2).
The Sarsen stones, blocks of grey sandstone possible deposited by glaciers, incorporated into the base of the fountain, were dug up by workmen digging a trench for a new gas main and it is thought that the name Steine, from the Scandinavian for ‘place of stones’, derives form their discovery (3).
The water from the fountain can be thrown up to between 20 and 30 feet and the reservoir at the bottom was originally filled with water lilies and gold fish.
The inauguration of the fountain was marked with great ceremony. The proceedings were launched by a royal salute fired from the Pier Head at noon, the same time as the fountain was turned on. Specially commissioned music, including Fountain Quadrilles by Charles Coote, Burrows’s son-in-law, was played .Local shops and businesses closed at 3pm for the celebratory Fete Champetre in the Royal Gardens, which concluded with fireworks (4). The fountain quickly became a local landmark with coloured prints available at local booksellers (5).
Prince Charles’s visit to the Steine to unveil the plaque to commemorate the restoration of the fountain in 1995 provoked a security alert when it became the focus of a protest about live animal exports from nearby Shoreham Harbour (6).
Notes
(1) Ford, J. and J.,Images of Brighton, Saint Helena Press, Richmond, 1981, p.37.
(2) Carder, T., The Encyclopaedia of Brighton, East Susex County Libraries, Lewes, 1990, entry 144.
(3) A Guide to the Buildings of Brighton, School of Architecture and Interior Design, Brighton Polytechnic, nd.p.40.
(4) Brighton Gazette, May 28th, 1846.
(5) Brighton Herald, May 23rd, 1846.
(6) Evening Argus, Brighton, May25th, 1995.
Hard archive file:No

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References

Source 1 :
     Title:'Encyclopaedia OF Brighton'
     Type:Book
     Author:Carder, Timothy
     Date:00/00/1990
     Publisher:East Sussex County Libraries. Lewes.


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Photographs





Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons

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