From pillar to post – the Newcastle monument that’s had three city centre locations

Newcastle is dotted with statues, plaques, and memorials commemorating folks and occasions that helped form the life and instances of the city.

If you have ever wandered down to the Bigg Market, you will have noticed the distinctive construction in our images.

It’s the Rutherford memorial consuming fountain, erected in 1894 in reminiscence of Dr John Hunter Rutherford – a nicely-identified Presbyterian minister and educationalist. It was formally unveiled by Joseph Cowen, proprietor of the Evening Chronicle.

The fountain was one in every of many constructed in the city throughout the nineteenth century to enhance the high quality of consuming water for Newcastle’s rising working-class inhabitants.

The city company of the day supplied public fountains and standpipes in locations akin to Gallowgate, Percy Street, High Friar Street, Newgate Street, High Bridge, Side, Westgate Street (at this time’s Westgate Road), Pilgrim Street, Manor Street, Sandgate West and East, St Ann’s Row, East Ballast Hills, St Lawrence, New Green Market, and Leazes.

Born in Jedburgh in 1826, Rutherford moved to Newcastle, the place he grew to become a well-liked determine. More than 5,000 folks attended his funeral in 1890.

Rutherford’s memorial was constructed by the Band of Hope Union in reminiscence of the good physician who pioneered free secondary and technical schooling for the city. He based Bath Lane Church in 1860 and arrange a variety of colleges in Newcastle. He was clearly an excellent egg who supplied free breakfasts earlier than faculty for poor youngsters.

His monument has been round the homes. It stood initially outdoors the cathedral in St Nicholas’ Square however, to accommodate a brand new statue of just lately deceased Queen Victoria, in 1901 it was moved to the Bigg Market subsequent to the place the former underground public bathrooms (and website of the trendy wine bar WC) are located.

The ornate water fountain is an octagonal crimson sandstone building with pink granite basin. It bears the inscriptions “JHR” and “Water Is Best” on shields in its panels.



The Rutherford memorial consuming fountain presently sits at the high of Newcastle’s Bigg Market – its third location

Over the years, it fell into disrepair and, in 1996, the council eliminated it for conservation as a part of its refurbishment plans for the Bigg Market.

In 1998, it was cleaned and put in additional up the Bigg Market at its current location with the monetary help of Northumbrian Water. It not supplies water, however is now a Grade II-listed monument.

Dr Rutherford was a outstanding advocate of temperance, the Victorian motion that campaigned in opposition to alcohol consumption and argued for abstinence.



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He would possibly nicely have turned in his grave – he was buried in Elswick Cemetery – had he identified a monument in his identify would find yourself in the coronary heart of a Newcastle location well-known for its pubs and sometimes raucous nightlife.

Check out our Memory Lane native historical past web site that’s full of archive images and has an easy-to-use image colourisation device.


supply: https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/information/historical past/pillar-post-newcastle-monument-thats-20522792

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