By Francesca Fenn, Nov 23 2018 09:40AM
Not far from last week’s ‘Nice Spot’, nestled to the West the Palace of Westminster, and running alongside the river, are the Victoria Tower Gardens. These quiet Gardens are a great place to stop and rest on a day out. Towards the far end of the gardens is an extravagant neo-gothic edifice with a beautiful, decorated roof. This is the Buxton Memorial Fountain, and although the lion heads that adorn it no longer spout water, the fountain itself still graces the gardens.
Who was Buxton, and why was this memorial built? Charles Buxton, who commissioned the fountain in 1865, did so to remember and honour his father Thomas Buxton, who along with William Wilberforce and others campaigned for laws to abolish slavery. It was erected in Parliament Square and stayed there until 1948. It was re-erected at its present site nine years later. For a long time, the fountain was looking pretty sorry for itself, but as part of the celebrations of the 200th anniversary of abolition of the slave trade in 2007, it was restored to its original splendour.
So there it sits, a slightly ethereal monument to a very down to earth and very important achievement! While you are in the gardens, look out for the statue of Emeline Pankhurst near the entrance, honouring her and the women who won all women the right to vote.
Nearest tube – Westminster. Circle, District and Jubilee lines.