Fountain: Frances Whiting memorial fountain
Erection date: /4/1870
This figure represents the woman of Samaria (a Samaritan) at the well, from St John's gospel.
Site: Frances Whiting memorial fountain (1 memorial)
WC1, Guilford Place
From the Grade 2 listing entry: "Drinking fountain situated on a traffic island. 1870. Designed by architect Henry Darbishire for the Misses Whiting to commemorate their mother. ... a sculptured figure of the Woman of Samaria, in loose robes and scarf, kneeling on left knee to fill a water jar. The drinking fountain forms a civic group with the cast-iron railings to the Ladies' & Gentlemen's public conveniences (qv), situated behind it."
We found Mrs Whiting's name in Sarah McCabe's dissertation: 'The Provision of Underground Public Conveniences in London with Reference to Gender Differentials, 1850s-1980s'. The toilets arrived in 1931 and were closed c.1988 due to costs. On the subject of toilets, for ladies in particular: it is said that the Ladies in Parkway, Camden Town, was probably the first Ladies in London, It was created, along with the Gents, in about 1900, at least partly due to the promptings of George Bernard Shaw, a St Pancras councillor at the time. It attracted opposition since the absence of toilets for ladies restricted their freedom and kept them where they belonged: at home.
A number of sources incorrectly give "Francis Whiting".