130 year old Knaresborough monument planned to be restored in town centre

Civic society members, James Monaghan, John Richards (Chair), Doris Hayton and Ian Wright.
Civic society members, James Monaghan, John Richards (Chair), Doris Hayton and Ian Wright.

Plans to restore a 130 year old monument in Knaresborough town centre have been submitted by the Civic Society.

The Queen Victoria Jubilee fountain was erected on the Dropping Well Estate in 1887 to mark the Golden commemoration of her majesty’s reign.

But today, the historic stone feature sits discarded in a field.

Now the Knaresborough Civic Society have submitted a planning application to move the 19th century fountain to Knaresborough town centre for everyone’s enjoyment.

The project is being led by Civic Society member James Monaghan alongside architect Richard Hutchings.

He said: “Last year the remains of the fountain were offered by the current land owner to Knaresborough’s local history group.

“They made efforts to get the fountain re-instated, but were struggling to make progress.

“At this point the Civic Society offered to help restore this important piece of Knaresborough heritage.”

The hope is to raise public support for the planning application and enough funds to re-instate the monument on Gracious Street.

Mr Monaghan said: “The location was chosen so the fountain would be publicly accessible and visible to large number of residents and visitors.

“Unfortunately it isn’t possible to position the fountain outside the Dropping Well estate because the highway here has changed so much in over a hundred years.

“Finally, when planning permission is granted, and assuming we get public support for these plans, we will proceed as quickly as possible to restore the fountain.”

Sadly though the fountain will never be fully restored to a working water feature, so instead the society plans to use the monument as a flower display.

Mr Monaghan said: “Unfortunately it would be too expensive, and we could incur all sorts of health and safety regulations, to plumb in the fountain to work as originally intended, which is a shame.

“For now the intention is to use the bowl of the fountain as a flower container.”

The project has already received a positive response from Harrogate Borough Council but the costs of moving the fountain and commissioning a stone mason to restore it are currently estimated at around £5,000.

To aid this, the society has set up a page inviting people to donate to the cost of restoring the fountain.

John Richards, chair of Knaresborough Civic Society said: “We rely on subscriptions from our members to help us carry out our work protecting and enhancing the heritage of Knaresborough.

We need to raise additional funds to see the fountain restored to its former glory.”