19 June 2017
The Department for Infrastructure (DfI) has restored the fountain in the central market to its former glory, following an extensive refurbishment programme.
The fountain has not been refurbished for some time and was in great need of repair. It was originally installed in 1888.
DfI’s objective was to restore it as closely as possible to its Victorian origins. Time was spent researching and investigating the original colour scheme with the help of the States Historic Buildings Officer.
The fountain, which forms the centrepiece of the market, was grit blasted back to its bare cast. The missing leaf was replaced by casting a new leaf from the mould of an existing one. The cherubs had to be temporarily removed to be grit blasted and have new water fixings installed. The entire structure was then hand painted with numerous coats of paints and highlights and finally gold leaf was added.
The project cost about £20,000 in all and also included the installation of a new filtration system (the previous one was no longer functioning) to conform to modern standards, and some new pipework.
Minister for Infrastructure, Deputy Eddie Noel, said “Islanders are very proud of the market and it is also popular with tourists. It was time for us to give the fountain an uplift, and I think it is great that trouble has been taken to try to return it to the splendour of the Victorian age. It is part of our heritage.
“I would also like to thank all the people involved in this project and the market traders for their support and tolerance of having building works in their midst.”
More about the market fountain
The fountain in the central market is 15ft high, constructed in three tiers with water cascading into a deep pool below. The surrounding pool was designed by a local man, Abraham Viel, and the fountain itself is one of possibly six fountains built in 1881 by John Dyson in Yorkshire, and cast at the Glasgow Sun Works foundry of George Smith.
The other fountains can be found at
- People`s Park, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, Ireland
- The Square, Fochabers, Moray, Scotland
- Kandy, Sri Lanka
- The Mall, Victoria Jubilee Hall, Lahore, Pakistan
- the last one is documented as having been lost at sea on its way to Australia.
The fountain, originally placed to provide a water source, is thought to be on the site of an old vivier or fish pond on private land. It creates a colourful focal point which delights both locals and visitors of all ages.
The fountain is emptied of coins every two to three weeks, and raises approximately £5,000 for a host of charities each year.
In severe winters, such as in 1895, the fountain has been known to freeze.