Besley memorial fountain - lost

Fann Street corner Besley memorial fountain - lost

Erection date: 1878

This drinking fountain was erected in 1878 in memory of Robert Besley, who had run a typeface foundry in Fann Street 1849 - 61. This 1887 map shows the foundry. When he died in 1876 the foundry was still operational, so this location for a fountain in his memory 2 years later made sense.

London Picture Archive have a 1908 sketch of this street corner showing the fountain, on the south-east corner of the junction with Fann Street - on the same block as the foundry. The fountain was one of those large, free-standing, ornate Victorian numbers, comparable to Twell's.  Do look at the LPA page but we have traced the fountain from that drawing so you can see the effect here (please don't be too harsh in your assessment of our artistic abilities).

We'd guess the fountain had to go to allow for road widening. Nowadays we have the sense to narrow roads rather than widen them, but if, for some reason, such an edifice had to be removed, we would surely re-erect it somewhere else. Seems that was not the case in 1934.

Site: Fann Street corner (2 memorials)

EC1, Aldersgate Street

For 56 years this junction had a substantial drinking fountain on the south-east corner (pictured), but now has a plaque on the west side commemorating that fountain, and this south-east corner displays a frieze rescued from the buildings demolished to make way for the Barbican.

In this section Aldersgate Street is effectively a dual-carriageway, which we're sure it was not in 1878, or even in 1934.  This excessive road widening probably happened when the Barbican was built.

A London Inheritance looks at the history of this street.

This section lists the subjects commemorated on the memorial on this page:
Besley memorial fountain - lost

Subjects commemorated Information

Robert Besley

Alderman and Lord Mayor of London, 1869 - 70. Typefounder and and punchcutter...

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This section lists the other memorials at the same location as the memorial on this page:
Besley memorial fountain - lost

Also at this site Information

Barbican frieze

Our photo shows just one section of the frieze which covers the full width of...

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