Sandwith Memorial Drinking Fountain


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
Memorial drinking fountain on the corner of the junction of Westgate and Leys Road, Bridlington YO16 4QQ
Statutory Address:
Westgate, Bridlington, East Riding of Yorkshire, YO16 4QQ


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Statutory Address:
Westgate, Bridlington, East Riding of Yorkshire, YO16 4QQ

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Location Description:
Memorial drinking fountain on the corner of the junction of Westgate and Leys Road, Bridlington YO16 4QQ
East Riding of Yorkshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:


Memorial drinking fountain and trough, 1883, commemorating Humphry Sandwith MD, DCL, CB.

Reasons for Designation

The Sandwith Memorial Drinking Fountain of 1883 is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons: Architectural interest:

* a well-designed and attractive drinking fountain, reflecting Victorian aesthetic design values, with bull-nosed copings that surround a sinuous kidney-shaped trough, with ingenious recessed over-flow dog troughs; * it is built of good-quality Cornish granite and exhibits high-standards of skill and craftsmanship, with finely-tooled surfaces and restrained decoration. Historic interest:

* it represents a period when the provision of clean, freely accessible drinking water was often as a result of a philanthropic gesture, and serves as a reminder of the former presence of working animals in everyday life, that has virtually disappeared; * it is a good example of a type of public utility that were once common features of our streets and are now becoming increasingly rare; * for its historic association with, and including a memorial text commemorating, Humphry Sandwith, the C19 army physician, political activist, relief worker and author, who was also a well-respected Crimean War hero.

Group value: * it benefits from a spatial group value with the listed Grade II garden wall to the west of the Avenue Hospital.


The memorial drinking fountain was erected by the Sandwith family in 1883, to commemorate the life of Humphry Sandwith, who was born and brought-up in Bridlington. The town of Bridlington consists of two villages, one around the Quay and the other the Old Town, so the site chosen for the memorial was at the northern apex of Midway Green (later to become Victoria Gardens), approximately half-way between the two villages, at the junction of Station Road and Quay Road; however, it was dismantled and removed in 1964, to allow for the construction of a roundabout. The dismantled fountain was obtained from the council by a farmer from Eastfield Farm, Easton, who originally had intended to place it on his lawn, but the plan was abandoned. At the time of its dismantling, the original commemorative tablet was removed and placed to one side of the brick shelter in Victoria Gardens and an inscription was added describing the fact.

In 1970, following representations from traders in Bridlington Old Town, the drinking fountain was re-erected in a prominent position on the grass verge in front of the Grade II-listed garden wall to the west of the Avenue Hospital (National Heritage List for England: 1346547). The original commemorative tablet was not re-united with the fountain and the cambered pedestal to its rear remained empty for a number of years. A new hand-carved memorial tablet with the same wording as the original was installed in 2019, along with a new rear panel, incised with a sunburst motif, to acknowledge Humphry Sandwith's Governorship of Mauritius between 1857 and 1859. The renovation was undertaken by local master mason David Mooney, funded by Bridlington Town Council. The unveiling ceremony took place on 16 May 2019, the 138th anniversary of Humphry’s death.

Humphry Sandwith MD DCL CB (1822-1881), also known as Humphry Sandwith of Kars, was the chief military medical officer for the British and Turkish forces, at the siege of Kars, during the Crimean War. After the fall of Kars in 1855, he was the only British prisoner of war to be released immediately by the Russians, in appreciation of his medical services to the sick and wounded of all sides. On his return to England in 1856, he was greeted as a war hero, becoming a well-known author and political activist. The outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870 saw him travelling to France as a volunteer, for the National Society for the Sick and Wounded. In 1876 he provided relief to Serbian refugees and wounded soldiers during the war between Serbia and the Ottoman Empire, and fought a political battle back home, against the pro-Turkish foreign policy of Benjamin Disraeli. In the same year, he moved with his family to Davos, France, probably for the benefit of his wife and daughter, who had both contracted tuberculosis. Humphry died of heart failure, during a journey back to England in 1881, and was buried at Passy, a western suburb of Paris.


Memorial drinking fountain and trough, 1883, commemorating Humphry Sandwith MD, DCL, CB.

MATERIALS: ashlar Cornish granite, with secondary polished Indian black, and Norwegian blue-pearl granite commemorative panels.

PLAN: kidney-shaped plan, with a projecting memorial pedestal to the rear.

DESCRIPTION: the drinking fountain has four distinct parts, a kidney-shaped large horse trough, two low-set over-flow dog troughs, a memorial pedestal, and a hand basin to the rear. The horse trough is kidney-shaped, and stands to waist-height; it has vertical curved outer surfaces that are surmounted by projecting bull-nosed granite copings, which slope gently back into the centre to form the main bowl of the fountain. Two rectangular-shaped dog troughs are recessed back into the curved front elevation and are raised just above ground level. The rear wall of each of these recesses, is coved up to the front face of the fountain and has a centrally set lead water feed pipe, formerly fed by a blocked over-flow drain in the lip of the main bowl. The base of each of the dog trough has a chamfered lip, and the bowls have been in-filled with cement. A cambered (round-arched) granite memorial pedestal, with chamfered and stopped edges, and stepped moulded plinths to either side, stands centrally at the rear of the horse trough. A waist-height hand basin with rounded edges projects out from the rear of the pedestal, supported on an integral moulded shelf, set above a former opening, in-filled by a granite tablet inscribed with the mason's name: DAVID MOONEY 2019. The basin has a central notched over-flow gully with one to either side; it has a stub of a cut-off bronze ring, formerly used for suspending drinking cups. The bowl of the basin has been in-filled by a rectangular black granite slab, with rounded corners. The front of the pedestal has an inset secondary, polished black granite, stepped memorial tablet, with hand-cut, incised gilded lettering, it reads: HUMPHRY SANDWITH./ M.D., D.C.L., C.B./ BORN IN THIS TOWN APRIL12.1822/ DIED IN PARIS MAY 16.1881./ HIS FAMILY HAVE SET UP THIS/ FOUNTAIN TO HIS MEMORY AND TO THE/ BENEFIT OF HIS FELLOW TOWNSMEN. The rear cavity of the pedestal is in-filled by blue-pearl granite panels; the upper cambered panel is inscribed by a sunburst and an inset tablet reads: RENOVATED/ 2019./ BY THE/ BRIDLINGTON/ TOWN COUNCIL.


Books and journals
Ward, T H (Author), Humphry Sandwith A Memoir, (1884)
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography - Sandwith, Humphrey (1822-1881), Dane Kennedy, accessed 18 December 2019 from
Bridlington Free Press, 3 March 1883, Delays to Fountain
York Herald, 11 February 1882, Page 13, Request to Erect Fountain
Yorkshire Post and Intelligencer, 30 April 1883, Page 3, Erection of Fountain


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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