We all have our favourite watering holes but London’s new addition is bringing the term to life, literally. Green Park’s new drinking fountain, aptly named ‘Watering Holes’, is the final piece in The Royal Parks Foundation’s quest to create the ultimate drinking fountains. Quite simply, it’s an 800kg slab of granite perforated with three holes at various heights to create accessbility for adults, children, wheelchair users and even dogs. This beautiful, simple fountain is just one of many quirky and wonderful drinking fountains dotted around this great city, and as it’s hot out there, we’ve compiled a list of the top five. Stay hydrated people!
1 The Freeman Family Fountain, Hyde Park, W1
Standing on a plinth of granite, this polished stainless-steel orb was designed by international garden artist David Harber in 2009 and donated to the park by Michael Freeman, a trustee of the Royal Parks Foundation. The fountain has four separate drinking positions at varying heights and a spout to fill water bottles.
2 Augustus Harris Memorial Drinking Fountain, Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, WC2
This terracotta fountain features a bronze of Augustus Harris, who was manager of the Theatre Royal from 1873 until his death, aged 44, in 1896. The bust, designed by sculptor Thomas Brock, was erected with the fountain in 1897.
3 Ready Money Drinking Fountain, The Broad Walk, Regent’s Park, NW1
This gothic structure is one of the largest drinking fountains in London and contains ten tons of Sicilian marble and four tons of red Aberdeen granite. It was given to the park in 1869 by Sir Cowasjee Jehangir, a Parsi industrialist from Bombay, who went by the nickname Ready Money.
4 Giltspur Street, EC1
The Metropolitan Drinking Fountain Association was set up in 1859 to provide the poor with an alternative to beer. This first fountain, like many of the association’s, was built opposite a pub. Set into the railings of St Sepulchrewithout- Newgate church, its two original mugs are chained to the structure.
5 Mount Street Gardens, W1
The fountain was built in 1891 by Sir Ernest George and Harold Peto and is topped by a rearing bronze horse. It was restored in 2005 by Mayfair residents, who raised £12,000 for the project. Josie Gurney-Read