Thousands spent on Victorian drinking fountain in Hull that may never be drunk from

Thousands of pounds are being spent on restoring a Victorian drinking fountain in Hull – which is likely never to be drunk from.

The drinking fountain in Pearson Park in Hull Credit: Hull Council

The Grade II-listed fountain is being restored as part of a £3.8m project to restore the city’s oldest and smallest park, Pearson Park.

The stunning example of Victorian craftsmanship stands more than 9ft high, with a dome with a crown at its apex, decorated with griffins and supported by four columns with a bowl in the centre.

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Little cups on chains used to hang off the spigots for people to drink from.

Hull's oldest and smallest park - Pearson Park

Several lost features are being reinstated including the city’s crest and a heron and it will be repainted in red, green and gold, the same colours found on the nearby bandstand,.

Coun John Fareham, chairman of the Pearson Trust, said he would like to see the fountain back in use.

However, he added: “It would be nice if we could make it functional as well as beautiful, but the two main objections are meeting public health requirements – particularly at the moment because of the coronavirus outbreak.

"The other is the conservation of the original and best bowl in the country.”

In 2016 the council loaned the bowl so a new one could be made for a fountain on the South Atlantic island of St Helena where Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled in 1815.

Pearson Park is Grade II-listed and includes seven individually listed Grade II features, including the Queen Victoria and Prince Albert statues.

In 1860, Mayor Zachariah Pearson donated a 27-acre plot off Beverley Road to give somewhere for workers to enjoy some space and fresh air.

The plan was to reimburse the council through the sale of the villa plots around its periphery but after Pearson was declared bankrupt in 1864 the council was left to foot the bill