Some Watery Features of London

The first watery feature in London that I would think of is certainly the River Thames. And what better way to approach Greenwich than by boat leaving from Tower Pier.

Bridge and Shard

We visited Greenwich last week to see the Pepys Show at The National Maritime Museum.

pepys show

And of course, yesterday I wrote about the Victoria Fountain in Victoria Park which we saw in the pouring rain after walking alongside The Regent’s Canal.

canal walk

Victorian fountain

But when it was decided to follow a watery walk in the rain through part of the City of London I was amazed at the number of pumps and fountains that we would otherwise pass without noticing.

In fact, we only had time to do the beginning of the walk, and we did that in reverse order but nevertheless we learned a lot about London’s water features.

A 2¾ mile walk through the City from Bank to West Smithfield looking at its water features.

From Bank Station/junction go along Cornhill.

outside roayal exchangeOutside The Royal Exchange

Old trough and pump [above] ‘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 [above] 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’  [below] 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

boy and duck

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 Botolph’s Church. Two drinking fountains at entrance to churchyard. Walk through the churchyard.

one of two two of two

St Botolph's

St Botolph’s Church, with the obligatory crane in the background

We did spend time exploring St Botolph’s Church and discovered :

coade 2

coade 1

Two Coade stone statues adorning the doorway to St Botolph’s church hall.

Botolph's hall

The Church Hall

war memorial

The war memorial cross is believed to be the first memorial of the Great War (1914-18) to be set up in England and was erected in 1916 following the Battle of Jutland and the death of Lord Kitchener.

bombing window

The Bowyers Window

The Worshipful Company of Bowyers traditionally hold their service of installation of a new master at St. Botolph’s. Following the St. Mary Axe & Bishopsgate bombings the Company decided to commission a Memorial Window as part of the restoration. It was specially commissioned from Nicola Kantorowicz. The window combines yew leaves and the curve of a longbow. The design grows and moves upwards suggesting resurrection or rebirth. Its colours lend themselves to fire and light and the suggestion of a cross adds a further spiritual element.

Lord Mayor of London's Ceremonial Sword rest The Lord Mayor of London’s Ceremonial Sword rest

That was all we could manage in the time but I hope we may return at a later date to complete the City Water Features Walk to its destination at West Smithfield.


6 comments on “Some Watery Features of London

  1. Thanks, I really enjoyed this. Interesting to see first ever 1WW memorial. And the statues of children are lovely.

  2. Fran says:

    Love the idea of just concentrating on one subject.

  3. RobinWire says:

    I did a similar little walk around just before Christmas – I abandoned an unsuccessful shopping trip and walked the streets of the City, visiting churches, lingering. It’s a fascinating and fast-changing place to walk around.

    • Fast-changing, yes, forever building works and cranes on the skyline but then again the old fountains and pumps are there if you look for them. An unending procession of fascinating churches to visit within just one square mile.

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