The Victoria Fountain
Amon Henry Wilds
Old Steine, Brighton
Photograph and text by Jacqueline Banerjee
The Old Steine is an area of Brighton which used to be open grassland where fishermen dried their nets. The Victorians piped the stream that once ran through it, so that it now flows under it. The Victoria Fountain was inaugurated on 25 May 1846, for the twenty-seventh birthday of the Queen. It consists of "two huge bronze bowls, the lower supported on the tails of three large grotesque dolphins [cf. Alexander Munro's dolphin in Kensington Gardens]. These rest on rocks with a surrounding wide, shallow pool. At first sight the structure looks vulgar, but the falling water is beautiful, the conception inspired" (Speel: see below).