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The first public drinking fountain in London

Let’s take a step back in time, when in the first half of the 19th century, water was in the hands of private companies, of which they had a complete monopoly.

First Public Drinking Fountain London
© Wonders of London

It was only thanks to the work of the doctor John Snow, who managed to find the cause of a cholera epidemic right in a water pump in Soho, the famous John Snow Water Pump, that the situation began to change, first with an act of 1848 which made water filtering mandatory, and then in 1858 with the birth of an association which had the aim of providing free drinking water to citizens.



First Public Drinking Fountain London
© Wonders of London

And here in April 1859 the first public drinking fountain in London was installed!
Right here on the railings surrounding the Holy Sepulchre Church in the City of London, on the Holborn Viaduct.
Just imagine, the fountain soon became so popular that hundreds of people lined up every day just to take a sip of water.
Precisely for this reason, in the following six years, another 85 were installed!
And many of these are still in London! Have you seen any?

If you’re curious you can watch the video of the first public drinking fountain in London on TikTok, Instagram, Twitter and Linkedin!


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