Perhaps because of the weather, London is not as famous for its fountains as many other European cities. Here are a few artistic works - most dating to the 1940s or 1950s - and, unlike the drinking fountains, they are usually working.

Any comments - or a suggestion for a London secret? Please e-mail me.


Triton Fountain

William McMillan (1887-1977) also designed this fountain in 1950, again paid for by the Constance a in memory of Sigismund Goetz. Goetze’s wife, Constance, a gifted pianist, directed the Fund until her death in 1951. Since 1946, the Fund has chosen to commission only fountains.

Queen Mary's Garden,
Regent’s Park NW1
Tube: Regent’s Park


Now listed at Grade II, this 1953 fountain was sculpted by Gilbert Ledward for the Leighton Fund. The basin shows King Charles II and mistress Nell Gwynn by the Thames. An inscription reads,’Sweet Thames run softly, till I end my song’, from ‘Prothalamion’ by Edmund Spenser (1552-1599).

Sloane Square SW1
Tube: Sloane Square

Trafalgar Square

Replacing earlier designs by Sir Charles Barry, these commemorate World War I naval heroes, Earls Jellicoe and Beattie. Jellicoe’s bust and the west fountain are by Sir Charles Wheeler, the Beatty bust and east fountain by Sir William McMillan. Started before World War II, they were finished in 1948.

Trafalgar Square WC2
Tube: Charing Cross

Joy of Life

By T B Huxley-Jones, this 1963 work was paid for by the Constance Fund. Inspired by the Neptune Fountain in Bologna, Italy, painter and philanthropist Sigismund Goetz (1866-1939) set up the fund named for his wife, Constance ‘to promote the art of sculpture’ particularly in an outdoor setting.

Hyde Park, Park Lane W1
Tube: Hyde Park  Corner

Marble Arch

OK, not very artistic but the re-opening of the fountains at Marble Arch in June 2009 is worth a mention. There were plans to turn this into a feature commemorating Britain’s Olympic gold medal winners but the site was not thought by Westminster Council to be the right one.

Marble Arch W2
Tube: Marble Arch


Lady Feodora Gleichen (1861-1922), the first (if posthumous) woman member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors, produced this chaste bronze of the huntress Diana in 1899. It was donated by a female private owner to Hyde Park in 1906 and stands in the Rose Garden.

Rotten Row, Hyde Park W1
Tube: Hyde Park Corner