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Buxton Memorial Fountain, London

4.4
#1,453 of 3,692 in Things to do in London
The Buxton Memorial Fountain is a memorial and drinking fountain in London, the United Kingdom, that commemorates the emancipation of slaves in the British Empire in 1834, and in particular, the role of British parliamentarians in the abolition campaign.
It was commissioned by Charles Buxton MP, and was dedicated to his father Thomas Fowell Buxton along with William Wilberforce, Thomas Clarkson, Thomas Babington Macaulay, Henry Brougham and Stephen Lushington, all of whom were involved in the abolition. It was designed by Charles Buxton, who was himself an amateur architect, in collaboration with the neo-Gothic architect Samuel Sanders Teulon (1812–1873) in 1865. It coincided with the passing of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which effectively ended slavery in the United States. The memorial was completed in February 1866.
It was originally constructed in Parliament Square, erected at a cost of £1,200. As part of the postwar redesign of the square it was removed in 1949 and not reinstated in its present position in Victoria Tower Gardens until 1957.

There were eight decorative figures of British rulers on it, but four were stolen in 1960 and four in 1971. They were replaced by fibreglass figures in 1980. By 2005 these were missing, and the fountain was no longer working. Between autumn 2006 and February 2007 restoration works were carried out. The restored fountain was unveiled on 27 March 2007 as part of the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the act to abolish the slave trade.
A memorial plaque commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Anti-Slavery Society was added in 1989.
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Buxton Memorial Fountain Reviews
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  • The Buxton Memorial Fountain is an ornate Neo-Gothic structure sited in Westminster's Victoria Tower Gardens and commemorating the emancipation of slaves. It is a remarkable and eye-catching...  more »
  • This tribute to MP Thomas Fowell Buxton stands out from all the many other more austere memorials in and around the Palace of Westminster. It’s a glorious riot of colourful decorative tiles and...  more »
Google
  • Excellent raiding spot - pleasant environment by the river and Houses of Parliament, and one of only two EX-eligible gyms in the cell. Inbuilt cover very handy. The stirring history of the monument (Buxton was campaigner for the emancipation of slaves) somewhat overshadows its aesthetics, a misjudged combination of the drab and the twee. Still, no-one actually comes to look at the thing, right?
  • Absolutely beautiful brightly coloured and exceedingly ornate neo Gothic chapel - like memorial designed by Charles Buxton and Samuel Sanders Teulon in 1865 to celebrate the abolition of slavery in 1834 and the men who campaigned for the abolition of it. Including Buxton's father Thomas Fowell-Buxton. Originally constructed in Parliament Square and moved to it's present position in 1957. It has an octagonal base of 2 steps about 12ft in diameter with an open arch on all 8 sides, with 2 entrances. Each arch is supported by pink marble clustered columns with red sandstone bases. The central column is chunky with 4 pink granite basins with open mouthed terracotta lion heads which would have originally been the fountain heads. The ceiling is amazing full of Gothic limestone carvings of flowers, dragons, lions, lizards, faces etc and wee mosaics too. Just fun to see how many creatures an intricacies you can find here. Then there's the multi-coloured mosaic turret/spire with rought iron twiddly leafy bits that go into a lightning conductor at the top. See if you can spot the 8 bronze figures depicting the 8 civilizations who have ruled Britain up until Queen Victoria's reign. One can spend a lifetime looking at this Monument and still find something you have not spotted on it before. From a distance it looks quite wee but once you are up close and personal with it, it is farely impressive in height. A true work of art. One of London's hidden gems! In close proximity to the playground and Lambeth Bridge, The River Thames, St John's Smith Square, Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament, Parliament Square, Big Ben, Westminster Bridge, The Boudicca Rebellion Statue, The Cenotaph, Whitehall, St James's Park, Lambeth Palace and the Garden Museum etc. Nearest stations are St James's Park and Westminster.

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