New life for 19th century St Pancras water fountain

PUBLISHED: 11:58 31 May 2018

Refurbished historic water fountain re-opened at St Pancras International Station. Picture: St Pancras Station/Sam Lane Photography

Refurbished historic water fountain re-opened at St Pancras International Station. Picture: St Pancras Station/Sam Lane Photography

Sam Lane Photography

A Victorian water fountain originally set up to help tackle cholera in the 1870s has been reopened for public use at St Pancras station.

The fountain, on the southern end of Pancras Road, was originally installed in the 19th century by the Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough Association, amid an outbreak of the disease.

The restoration has been completed using specialist conservation masonry, by the Chichester Stone Works.

The reopening coincides with London History Day and forms part of the station’s 150th anniversary celebrations this year.

Josie Murray, the station’s senior heritage advisor said: “Alongside providing refreshment, this fountain is a hint at some of the rich history of one of the UK’s favourite railway stations.

“This fountain symbolises our Victorian predecessors’ struggle to tackle the frequent cholera outbreaks that blighted the area.

“The fountain was a private endeavour to provide free and clean water at a time when the public had limited access to fresh water and relied instead on alcoholic beverages – a courageous effort that we are rightly symbolising given that courage is the theme of this year’s London History Day.

“There’s also a refreshing symbolism in its Victorian installers’ links with the anti-intoxication Temperance movement, given it was installed at a time when St Pancras was so closely linked with the brewery trade.”

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