The Serjeantson Fountain Returns to Greenhill
It’s great to see Lichfield’s Serjeantson Fountain – a memorial to Rev. James Jordan Serjeantson, Rector of St Michael’s in Lichfield from 1868 until 1886 – back in place at Greenhill in time for the Olympic torch’s visit to Lichfield next Saturday. It was sculpted in 1886 by Robert Bridgeman of Bridgeman & Sons, and originally had four individual stone troughs for animals to drink from (this makes senses as Greenhill was the centre of Lichfield’s cattle trade right into the 20th century).
MSM Midland Stone Mason recently dug up and cleaned the monument, which had sunk quite considerably into the ground, and as you’ll see, the cattle trough is now much higher and there’s also a new addition of a lamp on top (though it’s wobbling to one side at the moment – hope it doesn’t fall on someone’s head!) I’m not sure if the lamp is a re-creation of how the original monument looked or not; it certainly looks Victorian in style.
There’s another block to the side of the fountain which looks like it could have been a pump of some description; the conservation job hasn’t included restoring water to the fountain, sadly, but still, it’s really nice to see the monument restored to its former glory. Just watch out for that wonky lamp!
[Update 26/6/12: I've just found this extract from the Victoria County History, which suggests that the lamp was part of the original design: "In 1886 a drinking fountain and cattle trough surmounted by a lamp were erected by subscription at Greenhill as a memorial to J. J. Serjeantson, rector of St. Michael's 1868–86, in fulfilment of his long-cherished wish. The fountain and trough survived in 1989, although no longer in use. In 1887 a plot of ground behind the memorial was planted and railed at the expense of Alderman R. P. Cooper"].
[Update 27/6/12: Lichfield District Council says: "In planning the restoration, we used an old photo that shows a lantern on top of the drinking fountain. We replicated the lantern, and our Building Conservation team agrees that the structure makes more sense now that the lantern is on top of the memorial once more."]