City of Bath College students to restore Rebecca Fountain to its former glory
Stone conservation students are to spruce up Bath's 19th Century landmark fountain to preserve it for future generations.
The nine City of Bath College students are to spend four days cleaning and conserving the Rebecca Fountain, which sits on the north side of Bath Abbey. The talented team will give the historic marble drinking fountain, which was built by Rushton Walker and erected in 1861, a thorough but gentle clean to remove moss, algae and staining.
They will also carefully repair the stonework, which has fallen into disrepair through erosion and vandalism, fill in cracks and re-point the steps.
The students were approached by the Bath Preservation Trust and submitted a conservation survey to Bath & North East Somerset Council to highlight the work needed. Weather permitting, the students will be working on the popular attraction between 9.30am and 4pm on January 28th and January 29th, then the following week on February 4th and 5th.
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Nigel Bryant, who runs the College's Architectural Stone Conservation course, said the fountain's structure was sound but work was needed to slow its rate of decay. He said: " We like to be proactive and get involved in community projects. The students are very excited and looking forward to getting to work.It's great that everyone has the confidence in their abilities for them to carry out such a prestigious project.The Rebecca Fountain is a landmark right in the middle of town. Students will be able to proudly walk past their work and say "I did that."
The 151-year-old Rebecca Fountain was presented by the Bath Temperance Association to then mayor T Jolly and the Corporation of Bath to provide drinking water for the public and promote the non-consumption of alcoholic beverages. It is a life-sized 'water goddess' female figure wearing Eastern costume and pouring water from an urn into a bowl. Fountain inscriptions include "take the water of life freely" and "water is best".
The students have researched the history of the fountain and will be encouraged to answer questions from the public and spread the word about their work. Nigel added: "The idea behind the project is to make the fountain more attractive to the public so we want them to get involved and be informed about our work"
The students will be working alongside North Midland Construction who will be repairing the paving over the same time period.
Work by the stone conservation students at the Grade II* listed Tyntesfield Estate Orangery was recently voted the people's favourite in the English Heritage Angel Awards.
For more information on the Architectural Stone Conservation course contact Nigel Bryant on 01225 334840 or email email@example.com
There are also stonemasonry apprenticeships available through City of Bath College. For more information contact Stacey Harper on 01225 328729 or email firstname.lastname@example.org