Leeds video nostalgia: Fountain’s ripples in time

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THis week’s ‘picture blend’ combines two views of Leeds Town Hall, the first from May 31, 1902 and another from just a few days ago.

The first shows a fountain situated in front of the town hall, in Victoria Square, which is no longer there.

The article which accompanied the picture and which appeared in the Leeds and York Mercury on January 31, 1905, said: “This substantial piece of iron work started life in the fish market, where its basin formed a receptacle for refuse and whenever it was allowed to play it wetted the public, who were too thick on the ground to be able to avoid its windblown film of falling water.”

The fountain was removed to the town hall, where it became a place to congregate at holiday times.

Alas, it was again case out when Queen Victoria’s statue came to the square. But where is it now?

Just after the fountain was removed by Leeds Corporation in preparation for its royal replacement, it was rumoured to be languishing in one of the Corporation’s many store yards. There was talk of it being moved to the upper lake at Roundhay Park.



The crowd in the original 1902 picture were said to celebrating Peace Day, which marked the end of the Second Boer War.

The conflict was fought between the South African Republic and the Republic of the Orange Free State on the one side and the British Empire on the other. The treaty provided self-rule for the Transvaal (South Africa) but meant it would retain its status as a British colon, with one provision stating everyone would swear allegiance to the Crown.

Perhaps you have pictures of the fountain from years gone by or even more recent pictures. If so, please email neil.hudson@ypn.co.uk