Historic fountain unveiled at St Pancras Church
A fountain, which had previously stood in St James Gardens, has now been erected in St Pancras Church grounds.
“The loss of St James Garden due to the construction of HS2 has been a huge blow to the local community and the thousands of people who pass through Euston every day.
“To mitigate these losses, Camden secured funding to carry out landscaping improvement works to St Pancras Church gardens on the Euston Road, along with a grant for £13,500 received from the Mayor of London's Greener City Fund following a successful bid.”
The council also received a commitment to restore the Grade II listed fountain, a small but important piece of the history of the gardens. The fountain was destroyed by a fire over a decade ago when it was removed for safekeeping and storage.
Councillor Beales continued:
“As part of the improvement works, it was agreed to re-home the restored fountain at St Pancras Church. St James Gardens was located in the parish of the Church so this seems particularly fitting.
“Whilst these improvements don’t make up for the loss of open space in the area because of HS2, it’s important we make the most of the spaces we do have.
“This project has created a greener and more welcoming space for residents, parishioners and visitors to enjoy for years to come.”
St James Garden’s was created from a section of a former burial ground, as a public park “to form healthy and pleasant resorts for the inhabitants.”
The fountain, which has been lovingly restored as an ornamental feature, was originally installed by St Pancras Vestry at the apparent suggestion of the Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough Association, an organisation which set up and maintained drinking fountains and troughs in London and elsewhere.
It was installed in the Gardens by 1897, where it stayed until it was vandalised by arson in 2012 and removed for safekeeping. The fountain was grade II listed in 1987.
"Two hectares of public green space will be lost during the HS2 construction – the size of three football pitches.
“More now than ever as we move to recover from this unprecedented global pandemic, we recognise the importance of having access to good quality green spaces. These are important to local communities because they improve health and wellbeing, and the character of an area, as well as creating habitats for wildlife and benefitting the environment.”
Revd Anne Stevens, Vicar of St Pancras Church, said:
“We’re delighted to provide a home for the fountain, and would like to thank Camden and the GLA for all they have done to make the St Pancras Church garden such a welcoming space.
“St James’ Gardens can never be replaced, but we hope everyone in the community will enjoy the garden here. It’s a great place to meet your friends, grab some lunch from one of the food stalls, or just find a moment of peace in a busy day.”
- These works were funded through assurances Camden has secured from HS2. Other sites we are planning improvements to include Munster Square, Clarence Gardens, Cumberland Market, Ampthill Square Estate, Hope Gardens and Churchway Estate.
- In 1895 the St Pancras Vestry commissioned Walter Macfarlane & Co. – a Glasgow-based foundry whose products included drinking fountains for public spaces - to design and construct the fountain.
- The Fountain restoration works were completed by Metalcraft, who specialise in architectural metalworks. The fountain was restored using traditional metalwork fabrication methods in accordance with Historic England requirements. Several components, which were either missing or badly damaged had to be recast from patterns created from the remaining parts of the fountain. Parts of the main bowl also had to be refabricated out of existing pieces to form a new bowl. The total cost of these works was £10,000.
- The landscaping works completed in St Pancras Church gardens, were designed by ME Landscapes. The plans included making the site more accessible, new colourful planting, new trees and newly designed seating areas. The design and materials used are sympathetic to the Grade I listed Church, but add a peaceful and contemporary feel to the space.
- The landscaping works were completed using funds secured from HS2 (£60,000, along with a successful grant for £13,500 received from the Mayor of London's Greener City Fund'). Further information and announcement can be found at www.stpancraschurch.org