Harris Digital Productions is recording the restoration and rebuilding of the St Lawrence Jewry Memorial Fountain, which has not been seen by the public since the 1970s when it was dismantled into approximately 150 pieces and put into storage. The pieces of the nineteenth century drinking water fountain have now been transported to the specialist stonework and restoration contractor, Cathedral Works Organisation (CWO), which will carry out the work, under the supervision of Freeland Rees Roberts Architects.
A project website has been set up to provide an update on the progress of the works and also act as a City archival record of the works. It will feature pictures and short films of the various stages of the restoration and can be accessed at www.stlawrencefountain.co.uk/
The majority of the conservation and restoration work is expected to be carried out offsite with the rebuilding onsite estimated to take another four months. The anticipated completion date is August 2010 when it will be relocated to the eastern end of Carter Lane Gardens at the south of St Paul’s Cathedral. The St Lawrence Jewry Memorial Fountain is part of Phase 2 of the Carter Lane Quarter Enhancement Project. The aim of these street scene improvement works is to greatly enhance the public realm of the Carter Lane Area and supporting and enhancing the pedestrian environment is key to the area’s future success.
Christine Cohen, Chairman of the Planning and Transportation Committee, City of London Corporation said:
“This is an excellent example of how the City of London Corporation is able to combine heritage with modern initiatives to provide amenities for City workers, residents and visitors. It is a beautiful fountain which will soon be restored to its former glory and be on public display once more.”
It is proposed to re-use a substantial portion of the original fountain stonework and supplement it with new matching carved stone where the original stone has been lost or damaged beyond repair. The original features, a bas relief of Moses striking the Rock and a stone bowl underneath, will be retained. In addition to this, a new modern drinking water fountain is proposed on the opposite side. The project is part of a wider sustainability initiative by the City of London Corporation which involves re-provision of drinking water in the City. The fountain is to be positioned on a new plinth with two steps to match the historical setting of the original fountain by St Lawrence Jewry Church.
The fountain was originally erected in 1866 outside the Church of St Lawrence Jewry near Guildhall as a gift to the City of London from the Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough Association. It was designed by architect John Robinson and the bronze sculpture was carried out by the artist Joseph Durham. It was taken down in the 1970s during the redevelopment of Guildhall.