MEMORIAL FOUNTAIN IN ST. DAVID'S CHURCHYARD WALL, HIGH STREET,
By Carl Llewellyn
In 1863 Great Britain began making preparations for the marriage
of the Prince of Wales, Edward Albert to Princess Alexandra of
Denmark, to take place 10 March 1863 at Windsor Castle. To mark
the Royal occasion a local committee was formed under the title
"The Prince of Wales Festivities Committee", the aim of the
committee was not only to celebrate the event but create a fund
to provide the town with a permanent commemorative feature. Mr.
Frank James, Merthyr's High Constable was elected Chairman of
"The Prince of Wales Festivities Committee. There were a least half
a dozen different functions proposed for occasion,.
"The Prince of Wales Festivities Committee arranged for a
public breakfast and a ball to help raise money to erect a
commemorative fountain. There were a variety
designs with prices for fountains in sandstone, in granite, and
in iron, the following sites were recommended for consideration
1. The Market Square for either a standard fountain in the
square, or a marble one in front
the Market house.
2. The retaining wall opposite the corner
Pontmorlais and Pontmorlais West.
3. The wall
the Canal Warehouse near Jackson's bridge.
4. Near to the main entrance
the Dowlais Iron Works.
5. The wall
the Market house at Dowlais.
6. Near to the Dowlais Inn.
Mr. Frank James conveyed the following words to "The
Prince of Wales Festivities Committee".,
is to have a
He said: Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen,—I have the honour to appear
before you as the High Constable of
and to state that the committee who arranged a breakfast in
honour of the Prince of Wales' Marriage have deputed me to
inform you that it is their intention to present the town with a
We have about £24 in hand and have fixed on proving a
which will be of cast iron, but of course we shall want water.
It will be erected opposite to the entrance to St. David's
Church. We would rather have another place, but we know of no
available spot more eligible, and the rector has given us leave
to put it up there. Of course the place for a
would be the Market Square, but that site demands a much more
costly affair than we can give. The people
Merthyr rejoiced to learn that they were to have a fountain. The
Wales's Marriage Festivities Committee have determined upon
presenting the town with one, which the
have agreed to supply with water. Mr. D. Rosser of the Merthyr
Local Board of Health said he would move the supply of water and
acceptance of the
he regretted a more suitable place had not been obtained for its
erection. This will to prove a boon to thousands
poor people who cannot afford money for fermented beverages, as
well as those who drink water from preference, and it is not
altogether improbable that with the means
slaking their thirst with a plenteous supply
pure water close at hand, the number
the latter class
drinkers will speedily undergo a large augmentation. At any
rate, it will be incalculably useful, and we believe ornamental
too, to the town.
According to the newspaper the Merthyr Telegraph dated August 8,
THE MERTHYR DRINKING FOUNTAIN, has now been erected, in a line
with the railings before St. David's Church, and attracts great
attention. The iron-work portion is very chaste in design, and
neatly carried out. An inscription notifies that the fountain is
placed in commemoration of the marriage of the Prince of Wales,
and the inscription reads:-
Jesus said unto her,
Whosoever shall drinketh of this water,
shall thirst again,
But whosoever drinketh of the water,
that I shall give him,
Shall never Thirst
JOHN. IV. 13.14
It is appropriately placed, near St. David's Church, thought it
would have been better in the centre of the railing; but we
should have imagined that a much better place would have been
found in the Market-square. A double benefit would have accrued
from placing it there, as in the first place, it would be more
central, and in. the second, occupy a place that is too often
occupied by nuisances still, it is never too late to men, and
perhaps someday our energetic townsman Richard Thomas, Esq., may
place the fountain there on a diminished scale of that at
The casting has Coped kneelered gable to stugged masonry, arched
outlet at base. Painted ironwork in shape of sinuous cartouche
with cherub overthrow, foliage trails.
The figures of Christ and the Samaritan Woman with a central
niche with fountain bowl
Underneath is inscription:
"To commemorate the marriage of the Prince of Wales, 10 March
Casting design by Willis Brothers - Sculpts London"; "Cast by
the Coalbrookdale Co".