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Oxford Inscriptions: Victoria Fountain


The Plain drinking fountain

Restored fountain

 

VICTORIA
FOUNTAIN
Inaugurated By
HRH PRINCESS LOUISE

May 25 1899

This inscription is on a metal plate over the part of the fountain on the Plain roundabout that faces north

 

Left: The fountain in c.2002 and right: after restoration by the Oxford Preservation Trust in 2009

This structure is
Grade II listed
(List Entry 1369436)

This octagonal structure stands on the site of the old toll-house and resembles its shape. It commemorates both Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee on 22 June 1897 and her eightieth birthday on 24 May 1899. It was opened by Princess Louise (1848–1939), the daughter of Queen Victoria, on 25 May 1899, and two days later Jackson's Oxford Journal, after listing the guests who had lunch with the Princess at Headington Hall, reported:

OPENING THE VICTORIA FOUNTAIN.

The Princess was timed to leave Headington Hill Hall at three o'clock in order to perform successively the three functions which were the occasion of her visit, the first of which was the opening of the fountain and clock tower situate on the Magdalen Bridge side of St. Clement's churchyard, and presented to the city by Mr. and Mrs. G. Herbert Morrell as a memorial of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. The fountain is under a roof of oak, supported by columns, and above are four dials and a gilt weather vane. The steps of the fountain are of York ad Portland stone, lined with copper, the columns and dwarf walls of Milton stone, and the roof of oak is covered with Stonesfield slates. Mr. E. P. Warren was the architect.

The fountain no longer works, but the clock on top of the roof is still functioning.

Fountain plaque

Left: The plaque in the pavement just to the right of the fountain. It reads:

OXFORD PRESERVATION TRUST

The Victoria Fountain

Built in 1899 to commemorate
Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee,
designed by architect E.P. Warren.

A drinking fountain for people
and horses, it stands near the site
of a former 18th century
toll house and the original
St Clement’s Church

OXFORD CITY COUNCIL

OPT plaque
Old plaque

Left: This plaque below gives more details of the benefactors for the restoration. It reads:

OXFORD CITY COUNCIL

RESTORED 2009
by Oxford City Council and
Oxford Preservation Trust

Supported by
East Area Parliament, Magdalen College and
CPRE Oxfordshire Buildings Preservation Trust

 

It matches in shape the plaque below that was put up a hundred years earlier, which reads:

VICTORIA
FOUNTAIN

inaugurated by
H.R.H. PRINCESS LOUISE
May 25 • 1899

Below: the Victoria Fountain in about 1905

The Victoria Fountain

See separate page for the other inscriptions relating to the fountain and clock

Below: The toll house that used to stand on this site

Stephanie Jenkins