Angel Drinking Fountains

There are two angel fountains that I am aware of in England.

Manufactured by the English iron foundry, Coalbrookdale Company, pattern number 101 is a wall mounted drinking fountain.

A sculptured wreath with a recessed scalloped basin is surmounted by the upper torso of a winged angel holding an open book inscribed with a verse from the New Testament: John chapter IV, verses 13 & 14: Whosever drinketh of this water shall thirst again but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give shall never thirst. The recessed interior of the fountain is decorated with a shell surrounded by reeds.


The Angel Fountain erected in 1850 was originally located at Christ Church at the junction of Colmore Row and New Street in Birmingham. When the church was demolished in 1899, the fountain was moved to St. Philips Cathedral in Colmore Row. The fountain is mounted in a rectangular column with acroteria within the south western perimeter of the Cathedral grounds. Originally drinking cups were suspended on chains from two circular mounts on each side of the wreath.

A plaque beneath the fountain describes a brief history of the fountain and its restoration. This drinking fountain originally stood outside Christ Church at the junction of Colmore Row and New Street and after the demolition of the church in 1899 it was re-sited in this location. In 1988 the fountain was restored by the Planning Committee of the City Council, the Cathedral Close Community and Messrs. Wragge and Company, Solicitors.

A small step stone is located directly in front of the fountain as an aid to smaller persons. Two semi circular basins inserted on either side of the fountain at ground level are for the use of dogs.

The fountain was listed an English Heritage grade II architectural or historic interest building in 1982.



The Angel drinking fountain set into the east wall of St Nicholas church in Bristol was located at one of the city’s busiest road junctions: High Street & Bristol Bridge. It was erected in 19th November 1859 by the Iron Merchants of Bristol. This lost fountain is swathed in mystery as there is much confusion and dispute as to what happened to it.

It has been reported that during the early months of World War II it was removed for safety.

Another source claims that it was destroyed during the war. St. Nicholas Church was utilized as an air raid shelter and was subjected to many enemy bombs which destroyed the church and the surrounding buildings on the High Street. The ensuing fire destroyed furnishings and documents, and if the angel had not been taken off site it is possible that it was destroyed.

Yet another scenario suggests that the angel was damaged during WWII and removed for repair. Further damage was caused by water penetrating the wall. It was neglected in a city council yard until the Temple Local History Group and the Bristol Civic Society took action, and it was transferred to the Bristol Industrial Museum. Its location here has been refuted by a former employee.


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