The Whitley Pump

The view from Katesgrove Hill

Twinned with the Whitley Pump – Grainger Memorial Fountain

A postcard from Newcastle upon Tyne.

The Grainger Memorial Fountain was originally in Neville Street (the road in front of Newcastle’s central station) but has now been repositioned, tucked away in Waterloo Street.

The makers were a local firm, the Elswick Court Marble Works company, which operated from 1890 to 1898.

The inscription says:

in memory of
Richard and Rachel
by their daughter
Rachel Elizabeth Burns
according to
contained in her will

The fountain combines a trough for animals and a drinking fountain, but sadly the drinking fountain side has been placed facing the wall of a building. It is just possible to squeeze behind to take a photograph and see that all the fittings have been removed although the basin is intact.

The positioning also obscures a plaque commemorating the topping out ceremony of the Clayton Street West development for the North British Housing Association Ltd on 7 October 1981.

Richard Grainger (1797-1861) was the builder responsible for a major redevelopment of parts of Newcastle in the 1830s. The area is now known as ‘Grainger Town’.

  1. Historic England listing – Grainger Memorial Fountain 1122654
  2. Historic England publication (2003) – Newcastle’s Grainger Town – An Urban Renaissance
  3. Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain & Ireland 1851-1951 (Glasgow University project)


  1. I must admit to never having spotted the Grainger Fountain on countless visits to Newcastle in either of its locations but then I am notoriously unobservant. But here’s a remarkable coincidence: at the time when Richard Grainger was developing Newcastle the Vicar of Katesgrove (i.e St. Giles) was none other than John Cecil Grainger – 1801 to 1857, so almost an exact contemporary!

  2. Thank you for making the connection!

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