Reference numberWH3/1432
TitleUnveiling of the Sandwich Memorial Drinking Fountain outside the County Hospital, Huntingdon
DescriptionThis terracotta fountain was erected to the memory of the 7th Earl of Sandwich by 8th Earl, who can be seen standing at the front of the fountain. On the 17 July 1884 the Borough Council minute book records, " ...the steps being taken to erect a Memorial Fountain in front of the Hospital to the late Earl of Sandwich and proposed that looking that the late Earl of Sandwich was a very liberal benefactor to the Hospital and that a Fountain would be both ornamental and useful to passers by that this Council will furnish the necessary supply of water for a Drinking Fountain free of charge". The fountain was unveiled on Saturday the 19th September 1885, and the minute book records that Mr P Tillard of Stukeley Hall, Chairman of the Committee appointed to carry out the execution of the memorial, requested that the "Mayor and Corporation will take the Memorial under their charge. The late Earl of Sandwich had been for many years High Steward of the Borough, the Memorial is erected within the precincts of the Borough and I venture to think will be an ornament to the Borough..." The Mayor and other members of the Council attended the ceremony, and recorded in the minute book that "this Corporation will cheerfully undertake the charge of the Memorial..."
The fountain no longer exists, and its fate remains a mystery. The Borough minute books record that in November 1964 the Finance and General Purposes Committee reported that "the structure was in a deplorable condition" It was suggested that the monument be removed to plinth level and that "a suitable tablet be provided to perpetuate the memory of John William 7th Earl of Sandwich". By July 1965 the Borough Surveyor reported that the opinion of the company Hathernware Ltd of Loughborough was "that it would be quite impossible to repair the work since the great majority of the [terracotta] blocks are damaged". If the fountain was to be repaired, the company's estimate was £1,500-£2,000. The Council resolved to remove the monument to plinth level, provide a tablet in memory of the Earl and two public seats.
As yet the date that the fountain was removed has not been found, but local tradition has it that the stone work was removed either to the council depot at Godmanchester railway station, or to a council depot in Ermine Street, near the Iron Bridge. When this latter depot closed, it may have been taken to the Cow Lane tip in Godmanchester and dumped. See articles in the Hunts Post of 30 April and 7 May 2014.
Date19th September 1885

CreatorNameThe Whitney Collection
RepositoryHuntingdonshire Archives

Show related Persons records.

F/0009Montagu; family; of Hinchingbrooke House; Earls of Sandwich11th Century-Present
P/0058Montagu; Lord; Edward George Henry (1839-1916); 8th Earl of Sandwich; of Hinchingbrooke House1839-1916
P/0057Montagu; Lord; John William (1811-1884); 7th Earl of Sandwich; of Hinchingbrooke House1811-1884
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