mobile nav


Cholera Pump John Snow Public House

Credit for this entry to:
Bob Baker

Memorial: Cholera Pump


The Soho Cholera Epidemic.
Doctor John Snow (1813-1858) a noted anaesthetist lived near the focus of the 1854 Soho cholera epidemic which centred on Broad Street, as Broadwick Street was then called. In September of that year alone, over 500 people died in Soho from the disease. Snow had studied cholera in the 1848-9 epidemic in Southwark and Wandsworth. His theory that polluted drinking water was the source of transmission of the disease was confirmed when he mapped cholera deaths in Soho with the source of the victim's drinking water. He found that they were concentrated on the Broad Street public water pump. His theory initially met with some disbelief but such was his conviction that he had the pump handle removed to prevent its further use. Soon afterwards the outbreak ended.
The original pump is believed to have been situated outside the nearby 'Sir John Snow' Public House.
This water pump was unveiled by Councillor David Weeks Leader of Westminster City Council on 20 July 1992. It marks a pioneering example of medical research in the service of public health. The placement of this artefact and associated environmental improvements in Broadwick Street have been generously supported by Lynton plc.
City of Westminster

Still, this pump has no handle.

Site: John Snow Public House (3 memorials)

W1, Broadwick Street

When we first published this c.2009, the pump was on the north-east corner of the Broadwick Street / Poland Street junction. 2018: Londonist reported that the pump has been reinstalled, so we took a new photo.

View this memorial on a map

This section lists the subjects commemorated on the memorial on this page:
Cholera Pump

Information Subjects commemorated

Dr. John Snow

Pioneer anaesthetist and epidemiologist. Born North Street in York. The site ...

Read More

This section lists the subjects who helped to create/erect the memorial on this page:
Cholera Pump

Information Created by

Westminster City Council

Created in 1965 from the former area of the Metropolitan Boroughs of St Maryl...

Read More

David Weeks

David Weeks is a former Conservative Leader of Westminster City Council and s...

Read More

This section lists the other memorials at the same location as the memorial on this page:
Cholera Pump

Information Also at this site

Dr John Snow - RSC plaque

RSC - advancing the chemical sciences National Chemical Landmark Dr John Snow...

Read More

Dr John Snow - site of pump

The red granite kerbstone marks the site of the historic Broad Street pump as...

Read More