The normally comprehensive reference book Lambeth's Public Spaces - an historical account by Marie P G Draper, published by Lambeth Council in 1979, makes no mention of a drinking fountain at St John's churchyard.
There is also no mention of it in the Survey of London volume published in 1951.
Marie Draper does mention that there used to be "a red granite drinking fountain given in 1901 to the memory of Anne du Bois" in Archbishop's Park which has subsequently disappeared.
It's rather peculiar Rabbie, it was the largest drinking fountain I saw as child. I visited many local and City parks back then as I was a confirmed wanderer, I remember drinking from a red granite fountain, probably from Archbishop's Park, although I couldn't swear to it. None came near St John's fountain neither in size nor substance. It had two or three step up to it, all in beautifully cut, grey with black speckled polished granite.
Richard Wale went expressly to take a photograph of it for me, thats how I found out it had mysteriously disappeared!
Wish I had named the thread differently, Mystery in Waterloo or Disappearing Act in Swing Gardens, I'm afraid that my title might not strike a cord with those who may remember it or know what fate it suffered.
I don't know what happened to the fountain but I do know the one you mean and I can remember having a drink from it and thinking how grand it looked. Sadly a lot of things like the fountain have disappeared over the years. I hope someone can solve the mystery of its disappearance.
I've written to the Drinking Fountain Association kindly posted by Lang Rabbie, hopefully, they may have some information.
Thanks for your post Vonnie, it really was rather splendid wasn't it!!
Hope we don't find its been demolished, that would have been absolute vandalism. Why on earth would they even resite such a magnificent structure is beyond me since the gardens are still there.
I know that the gardens were and probably remain a meeting ground for tramps and vagrants but taking away the drinking fountain seems a rather drastic and inhumane way of dealing with the problem. If they were that desperate, they could easy have turned off the water supply.
Infuriating that so many icons from SE1 have been relocated or have disappeared entirely, whilst those in more salubrious areas a respected. Really p's me off.
Lori, pound to a penny it was taken away for ' repairs' and sold as architectral salvage..I often wonder if the lovely brass or was it copper handrails, wood panels still exist in tower bridge road toilets, the ones near the trocette..or rather where the trocette used to be!
Really annoying Jan, in all probability it was bought by public subscription or by the Church which would mean basically the same thing. If neither of those two, it may have been donated to grace the gardens in remembrance of someone dearly loved. I doubt that it was donated by a city 'worthy' type as its position and location wasn't in full view of the public.
Hoping for the best, although that probably means that it now stands in some nob's garden in his private estate.