Daily Archives: November 4, 2012

Water Street

Fountain Street in Belfast was previously known as Water Street. In the 18th century women and children paid a penny for two pails of water from one of the three fountains in the street. The water was sourced from Mundy’s Well in Sandy Row.

How do I know?

I found the words etched on the glass panelling that surrounded the upper level of an escalator on three sides, at the First Floor Fountain Centre.

Etched panel beneath The Alice Clock

We visited the panels last week.  My focus today is on water.

At the other end of the piazza, is a fountain,

Three Children Playing in Water ~ stone and bronze
Sculptor ~ Marjorie FitzGibbon

In the year 1678, George McCartney was Sovereign, and we owe a great deal to his wisdom and foresight. He called a town meeting to consider what could be done to obtain a supply of good and wholesome water. It cost two hundred and fifty pounds to bring it in wooden pipes into the town, and three places were arranged where the inhabitants could get water. Of course, it had to be carried into the houses. Lady Donegall gave forty pounds towards this undertaking. This supply continued for many years, and then the pipes wore out, and, when a hard frost came on, the condition of the town was deplorable. Some springs were found to have an abundant supply. The water from Mundy’s well in Sandy Row was brought into Fountain Street, and three fountains stood there for the use of poor people. Crowds of women and children were to be seen waiting for their turn at the fountains to fill their buckets and carry home the household supply.
From The Story of Belfast by Mary Lowry (circa 1913)

Marjorie FitzGibbon and her work has been mentioned in the past here