The Twentieth Century Society

War Memorials

London: Festival Gardens

Architect: Sir Albert Richardson, 1950
Location: St. Pauls, London

Festival Gardens were created by Sir Albert Richardson in 1950- 1, in a historic part of the City, heavily bombed in WWII. They were intended by the Corporation of London to be a contribution to the Festival of Britain, and ‘a permanent war memorial’. The fountain was a gift from the Master Wardens Assistants and Commonalty of the Company of Gardens of London in 1951. The lion’s heads of the fountain were the first sculptural forms to be added to the garden after its formation; Georg Ehrlich’s ‘The Young Lovers’ was erected to the west of the fountain in 1969.

The fountain is located to the east of a semi-circular Portland stone parapet and a paved pedestrian walkway. To the east of the fountain is a rectangular grassed area with flower borders, enclosed by a low wall. The whole site is known as Festival Gardens and is raised approximately 3′ above pavement level to Cannon Street.

The fountain incorporates a low parapet wall running N-S with returns at either end running E-W, and short curved braces to the E, enclosing a rectangular pool. Three bronze lion’s-head spouts and a line of fine jets at the head of the parapet feed the fountain. A bronze commemorative plaque is mounted on the south side of the wall, facing the pedestrian walkway. A plaque commemorating the historic street ‘Old Change’ (c.f.) is attached at the north end of the fountain parapet, also facing the walkway.

Jon Wright & Joanna Moore