Buxton Memorial Fountain

Erection date: 1865


{Plaque on the river side of the monument:}
 This plaque commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Anti-Slavery Society, 1839 - 1989.

{Plaque on the other side:}
Erected in 1865 by Charles Buxton MP in commemoration of the Emancipation of Slaves 1834 and in memory of his father Sir T. Fowell Buxton and those associated with him, Wilberforce, Clarkson, Macaulay, Brougham, Dr Lushington and others.

Due to strong shadows it was only on our fourth visit that we managed to take a good photo of this important mosaic. High up on the edifice there are 16 of these lozenge mosaics; all the others showing generic scenes of animals etc. but this one image is chillingly appropriate.

Site: Buxton Memorial Fountain (2 memorials)

SW1, Millbank, Victoria Tower Gardens

As Wilberforce's health failed Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton took over in the Slave Trade abolition campaign.

British Listed Buildings provides some very interesting information including this description: "Limestone and granite, with an enamelled roof, made by Skidmore, and mosaic decoration. Elaborate and delicate Gothic pavilion with rich use of polychrome materials. Octagonal with pointed arched shafted openings and pyramidal spire-roof of brightly enamelled iron with finial. Inside, four granite drinking basins arranged around a central shaft. Eight metal figures of British rulers, by T. Earp, which once stood at eaves level, were stolen, some in 1960, the rest in 1971. These were recast in 1980, but have since disappeared."

On a nearby modern information board:
The Buxton Memorial was erected to commemorate the emancipation of slaves following the 1833 Slavery Abolition Act. The memorial was donated by Charles Buxton MP in memory of his father, Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton and those associated with him in the struggle for the abolition of slavery in the British colonies. It was originally sited in Parliament Square {in 1865-6}, but later removed {1949} and erected in Victoria Tower Gardens in 1957 to mark the 150th anniversary of the 1807 Act abolishing the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

Designed by S. S. Teulon in the Gothic type, the spire is timber framed, and clad with enamelled sheet steel. Many different materials and decorative techniques are used, including grey and pink granite, limestone, grey and red sandstone, rosso marble, enamelled metalwork, wrought iron, mosaic and terracotta.

Following extensive restoration by The Royal Parks, the Memorial was unveiled on 27th March 2007 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the passing of the Act.

At its original location there is a plaque commemorating the fountain.

2017: These gardens are the site for the proposed Holocaust Memorial. It's not clear to us that this magnificent memorial, to the abolition of slavery, will survive. We won't get into the debate about which was worse: slavery or the holocaust (though there are a depressing number of websites out there that claim to know the answer) but we do think that each new human atrocity should not be allowed to wipe out the memory of those that have gone before.

We believe the mosaic work was carried out by the Salviati family.

2020: We spotted this memorial in its original location, in the 1950 film 'Dear Mr. Prohack' and captured the image.

This section lists the subjects commemorated on the memorial on this page:
Buxton Memorial Fountain

Subjects commemorated i

Abolition of slavery

The British abolition of slavery came in two parts: first the Abolition of th...

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Anti-Slavery Society

First founded in Britain in 1823 as the 'Society for the Mitigation and Gradu...

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Henry Peter, Lord Brougham

Born in Edinburgh. Died in Cannes, France, where, despite the plaque in Graft...

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Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton (1st Baronet)

MP, brewer, slave abolitionist and social reformer. Born Essex. Entered the B...

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Thomas Clarkson

Leading campaigner against the slave trade. A founding member of The Society ...

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Show all 8

This section lists the subjects who helped to create/erect the memorial on this page:
Buxton Memorial Fountain

Created by i


Family of mosaic artists from Italy. When they moved into new premises in 189...

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Charles Buxton

MP. Born Surrey.  Son of the anti-slavery campaigner first baronet, he entere...

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Samuel Sanders Teulon

Gothic revival architect. Born Hillside, Crooms Hill, Greenwich, of Huguenot ...

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This section lists the other memorials at the same location as the memorial on this page:
Buxton Memorial Fountain

Also at this site i

Buxton Memorial Fountain - original position

Buxton Memorial Fountain - original position

This screen shot comes from the 1950 film 'Dear Mr. Prohack' and shows Cecil ...

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Nearby Memorials

Coram's fountain

Coram's fountain

WC1, Coram's Fields

The lamb relief is also carved on the rim of the fountain.

2 subjects commemorated
George Allen drinking fountain

George Allen drinking fountain

W1, Wardour Street, St Anne's Soho

With information provided by Paul Frecker (see GMA's page) we found Soho and its Associations,1895 which gives: "A handsome granite drink...

1 subject commemorated, 2 creators
Mrs Kirby's fountain

Mrs Kirby's fountain

W11, Westbourne Grove, ‘Turquoise Island’

This corner is well-supplied with water. To the left of our photo, closer to the flower stall there is a granite horse trough, very simil...

1 subject commemorated, 1 creator
Nell Gwynne - Sloane Square

Nell Gwynne - Sloane Square

SW1, Sloane Square

She's manipulating a fan but meanwhile, unnoticed by Nell, her dress has slipped off her right shoulder causing a costume malfunction.

1 subject commemorated, 5 creators
Charles Kingsley water trough - SE1

Charles Kingsley water trough - SE1

SE1, Hopton Road

Doesn't this picture of the alms houses just make you weep? A London Inheritance has a photographic analysis of how this area has change...

1 subject commemorated