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Stone setts, balustraded piers and curved stairs adjoining the Hubert Fountain

A Grade II Listed Building in Victoria, Kent

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.1445 / 51°8'40"N

Longitude: 0.8656 / 0°51'56"E

OS Eastings: 600534

OS Northings: 142259

OS Grid: TR005422

Mapcode National: GBR RWW.3NR

Mapcode Global: VHKKM.YHGJ

Entry Name: Stone setts, balustraded piers and curved stairs adjoining the Hubert Fountain

Listing Date: 17 May 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1433682

Location: Ashford, Kent, TN23

County: Kent

District: Ashford

Electoral Ward/Division: Victoria

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Ashford (Ashford)

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent

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Summary

Setts, balustraded piers and curved steps constructed in 1912 when the c 1862 Hubert Fountain (listed Grade II*) was installed in Victoria Park.


Description

Setts, balustraded piers and curved steps constructed in 1912 when the c 1862 Hubert Fountain was installed in Victoria Park.

MATERIALS: stone setts and steps but the balustrading and piers are concrete.

PLAN: the arrangement of stone setts is roughly circular in shape enclosing the basin of the fountain with spurs to the south-east and south-west. Beyond this the eastern quadrant has five curved steps which are bounded by balustrading and piers.

DESCRIPTION: stone setts surround the basin and on the eastern quadrant are five curved stone steps leading up to it. The steps are bounded on each side by sections of low concrete balustrades on plinths and each side has six panelled concrete piers.

History

The stone setts, balustrading with piers and curved steps were constructed in 1912 specifically to provide a grander setting for the Hubert Fountain in its new location in Victoria Park.

The monumental cast iron fountain was cast circa 1862 by the French foundry of M. Barbezat and Co. at the Val d'Osne, Foundry, Haut Marne. The fountain was first erected in the Royal Horticultural Society's gardens in London for the Second International Exhibition of 1862 as the Hubert Fountain.

After the 1862 Exhibition the Hubert Fountain was purchased and erected in the grounds of Olantigh Towers at Wye, about five miles from Ashford, but this mansion was destroyed by fire in 1903. During the rebuilding of that property in 1910 the fountain was purchased by Mr. George Harper, an antique shop owner and art collector who was also Chairman of the Ashford Urban District Council. He made an offer to present the fountain together with two huge cast iron stags to Ashford. The fountain was dismantled and brought to Ashford in sections by traction engine. The stone setts balustraded piers and curved steps were constructed, and on 24 July 1912 the fountain was formally presented to Ashford. Unfortunately three weeks later Harper was run over and killed by a train. The life-size cast iron stags which stood on the plinths at the bottom of the steps when the fountain was first re-erected were removed at a later date.

Reasons for Listing

The 1912 stone setts, stone curved steps and concrete balustraded piers adjoining the Hubert Fountain, Victoria Park, Ashford, are listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Date: features of Victoria Park since 1912 and part of George Harper's bequest to Ashford, together with the Hubert Fountain;
* Design quality: the curved stone steps provide an impressive approach to the Hubert Fountain. Both the setts and steps are of good quality materials and with the concrete balustraded piers provide the setting for the fountain;
* Group value: they adjoin the Hubert Fountain (Grade II*), a rare monumental cast iron fountain cast in France, and were constructed specifically to enhance its setting;
* Degree of survival: little altered.

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