A City Water Features Walk

Route & what to see


A 2 mile walk through the City from Bank to West Smithfield looking at its water features.

From Bank Station/junction go along Cornhill.
Old trough and pump 'erected in the year 1799 by the contributions of the Bank of England, the East India Company, the neighbouring fire offices together with the bankers & traders of the ward of Cornhill'. It stands on the site of a well dating back to 1282.

Left at Royal Exchange Buildings
The fountain at the south end was erected in 1911 to commemorate the Jubilee of the Metropolitan Drinking Fountain & Cattle Trough Association (MDFA). It has a bronze of 'Serenity'
(currently removed) under a Grecian style red granite canopy. The figure is a 1993 copy by SR Melton of J Whitehead's stolen original. The fountain at the north end 'Maternite' has a seated figure of a nursing mother by Dalou (1879). The plinth by J Edmeston once supported columns and a square dome.

Right along Threadneedle Street then left into Adams Court
Interwar replica of a 16th century Italian fountain featuring a boy and duck.

Exit into Old Broad Street and go right. Right at Wormwood Street then left at Bishopsgate to St Botolphs Church.
Two drinking fountains at entrance to churchyard.

Walk through the churchyard.
Water feature on the left (1972).

Cross Old Broad Street and continue along New Broad Street. Left at Blomfield Street then right along London Wall.
Two water features in Finsbury Circus to the right not currently accessable due to railway construction works.

Turn right into Fore Street and go left along this road. Enter the gardens of Salters Hall to the left (weekdays only).
Three water features.

Go up to St Alphage Gardens and go right. Left at Wood Street crossing London Wall. Just before the police station go through the courtyard to the left.
New water feature.

Continue through Aldermanbury Square.
The Standard Chartered building has a carp pond in the basement (view through window).

Right at Aldermanbury
On the corner with Wood Street is a drinking fountain with its chained cup.

Return and walk through the paved area to the right
Two raised ponds, one with a fountain featuring a lion's head (relocated from Aldermanbury Square).

Cross Basinghall Street
Water feature in the open space.

Go south along Basinghall Street. Walk through the Guildhall courtyard to the right.
Pond in front of St Lawrence Jewry Church.

Walk to the right along Gresham Street.
Fountain in the sunken garden on the site of St John Zachary Church (1181-1666).

Cross Aldersgate to St Botolphs.
Drinking fountain at the entrance. The inscription reads 'In Memorium James & Mary Ann Ward late of Aldersgate & Islington from their daughter 1870'. Pond with fountain and fish in the former churchyard.

Go south along Aldersgate continuing along St Martin's Le Grand. Cross into the churchyard of St Paul's Cathedral.
Paul's Cross by Sir Reginald Blomfield (1910) has a drinking fountain on the west side featuring seahorses.

Walk past the east end of the cathedral. Bear left out of the gate.
The Festival Gardens have a water feature supplied by lions' heads (pictured in header). This was designed by Sir Albert Richardson in 1951.

Cross Cannon Street
An elaborate fountain from Guildhall Yard has been relocated here. The St Lawrence Jewry memorial fountain by John Robinson (1866) was dismantled and stored in the 1970s. [
more info]

Walk through the gardens towards the Information Centre.
A standpipe provides drinking water.

Cross to the west end of the cathedral. Go through Temple Bar into Paternoster Square.
The central column has water running down the granite panels.

Walk through to Newgate and go left.
The public space opposite the Central Criminal Courts (Old Bailey) has a water feature (2006).

Cross to St Sepulchre Church.
The drinking fountain on the corner was the first to be supplied by the MDFA (in 1859) and still has its chained cups. Its elaborate neo-Norman surround was dismantled in 1867 for the construction of Holborn Viaduct. [
more info]

Go along Giltspur Street. Walk through the main entrance gate of St Bartholomew's Hospital to the right.
There is a fountain in the central garden by Philip Hardwick (1859)
- currently under wraps.

Return to West Smithfield.
There is a large planted trough on the south side and an elaborate water feature in the garden of the Haberdashers' Hall on the west side (view through entrance gates).

Walk around to the north side where there is an entrance to the central garden (undergoing restoration at present).
This has a fountain with a draped classical bronze figure of Peace by J Birnie Philip (1873). She stands on a pedestal by Francis Butler but it no longer has its octagonal domed canopy.


The Buildings of England London 1: The City of London by Bradley & Pevsner
City of London publication in PDF format [
click here] Note that some features have gone since this was produced
City of London's Drinking Fountain project [
click here]
Drinking Fountains


london-footprints.co.uk 2011