Charles Melly (1829-1888) was an inhabitant of Liverpool, a keen philanthropist and advocator of public drinking fountains as a wholesome alternative to beer drinking. In the 19th century working people often drank beer because it was thought, often justifiably, that drinking water was unsafe. Melly, who had already presented a number of towns with water fountains, wrote to Southampton Corporation in 1859 offering to erect a fountain in Southampton. The corporation agreed and eventually settled on a site at the bottom of East Street. [[[page-browse:poole-josiah-george|Josiah George Poole, the local architect and surveyor, designed the fountain, which consisted of a square pillar of ashlar blocks, with cornice and pediments on all four sides, surmounted by a ball finial. The water flowed from two iron masks in the form of lion heads. On the stone block was carved the inscription “1859: Presented by Charles P Melly”. Stonemasons Garret and Haysom of East Street carried out the work. In 1969 it was re-located to Houndwell Park. It is Grade II listed.

Melly's Water Fountain, Houndwell Park

Image Unavailable

Photograph, c.1980

Further reading:

Southampton Memorials of Care for Man and Beast, by A. G. K. Leonard, p1-8. (HS/k)


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