Midland Railway Company Fountains

Location: Derbyshire, England

Andrew Handyside’s Britannia Iron Works manufactured cast iron drinking fountains for the Midland Railway Company in the 1800s.

A fountain originally located at Matlock Bath Railway Station is on display at the National Tramway Museum in Crich, Derbyshire. It was erected in 1873 and can be viewed below the Bowes-Lyon bridge.

Per Andy Savage, a blogger who is cataloging all Handyside’s iron work structures; ‘it would have originally had an “A. Handyside & Co” plaque fixed in the red section between the Lions head and the 1873 badge, You can make out the two mounting screws for the plaque above the press button.’

The attached image of the railway station at Matlock Bath shows a drinking fountain located behind the Station Master. It is situated to the right of a public weighing machine below the sign for Mason’s Extract.


Matlock Bath Railway Station

A second Handyside drinking fountain encased in an ashlar stone wall is situated in Matlock Bath, Derbyshire. A history of the fountain is engraved on a wall to the left of the structure.

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This Fountain Was Erected In 1881 Below The Now / Demolished Royal Hotel, Which Occupied The Area / Now Forming The Temple Road Car Park. / The Fountain Was Restored In 1917 To Commemorate / The First Meeting Of Scout Leaders In This Area, / Held At The Royal Hotel, Attended By Lord Baden- /Powell. It Was Again Restored In 1935 For King / George V’s Silver Jubilee.
Following Reclamation Of The Surrounding Area, / It Was Moved To Its Current Position In 1986, The / Year Of Queen Elizabeth II’s 60th Birthday. All / Works Were Undertaken By The Derbyshire Dales / District Community Programme.

When it was restored in 1935 a plaque was engraved to commemorate King George VI’s jubilee year and the first Conference of Scout Commissioners in the area in 1917; 1st Matlock Bath / BP Scouts / Jubilee 1935.

The design of the drinking fountain is the same at their standard Midland Railway Station design with the addition of an animal drinking trough at the base.

The standard design had an arch shaped structure with flat panel inset surmounted by a narrow plaque indicating the date of erection. A decorative demi-lune basin with flora relief was supported by an embellished console. Water was supplied from a lion mascaron with the push of a button.


  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal



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