The centenary fountain in Victoria Park is once again flowing and ready for park-goers to enjoy this spring, following investigation and maintenance work. As part of Portsmouth City Council’s work to revive Victoria Park, the team has cleaned up the fountain bowl, removed layers of silt from the pond and mechanics, and been able to get the pump functioning and water flowing.
In time, the council plans to fully restore the fountain, update the pump mechanisms, refresh the paintwork, and protect it for future generations to enjoy, with support from National Lottery Heritage Funding.
The ornate cast-iron fountain, featuring four swans seated above an ornamental tray, played a key role in the park’s opening ceremony in 1878, when it was turned on to declare the park open to the public. In 1978, the fountain was restored and renamed the centenary fountain to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the park.
Laura Young, Victoria Park Project Manager at Portsmouth City Council, said: “Historically, the fountain has been the centrepiece monument in Victoria Park so it’s great to see the water flowing and the pond clear for visitors to enjoy. In time, we hope to return the fountain to its former glory as part of our plans to restore and improve the park with support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.”
£250,000 was awarded to Portsmouth City Council from the National Lottery Heritage Fund last year to develop detailed plans for the park’s revival. The Victoria Park project team is currently working closely with park users, local organisations and community groups to develop the plans before applying for a further £2 million of funding later this year. If that bid is successful, the money will be used to carry out the restoration work and improvements in the park.
Find out more about the history of Portsmouth’s first public park and the plans for its future at: www.victoriaparkportsmouth.org.uk.