Monday, June 03, 2024

Jabez West Drinking Fountain

Jabez West Drinking Fountain
Memorial to a working-class man.

In Southwark Park there is a drinking fountain that was installed in 1885, shortly after the park opened to the public in 1869. 

It is fairly unique as it is a memorial to a working-class man.

Jabez West was born in Princes Risborough, on June 6, 1810, to Anne and William West. His father was a blacksmith. 

He moved to Bermondsey some time in the 1830s and married Sarah Johnson on October 21, 1838. They went on to have seven children.

His wife, Sarah, died in 1873 and, in 1876, he married Hannah Aiton.

Jabez died on May 13, 1884.

Jabez West Information Baord
The information board in Southwark Park.

Although he originally worked in the leather trade he is best known in the area for his devotion to political reform and the temperance movement.

He also campaigned for the creation of Southwark Park.

Following his death the Metropolitan Board of Works took the unusual step of agreeing to this memorial for a working-class man. Made from polished grey granite the fountain was paid for by public subscription at a cost of £120.


  1. Replies
    1. I thought so. Southwark Park is home to lots of little known memorials and wonderful things to discover.