Fountain plans submitted to county council

An artist's impression of proposed fountain monument in Wooler.
An artist's impression of proposed fountain monument in Wooler.

A planning application has now been submitted as the community bids to erect a memorial to mark a historic fountain in the centre of Wooler.

The original fountain, in the Market Square, at the south-eastern end of High Street, was erected in 1879 as a tribute to William Wightman, who brought a proper water supply to Wooler in the late 1850s.

In the severe winter of 1966, cracks appeared in the pillars and Glendale Council made inquiries as to who owned the fountain.

Ondiscovering that no one did, they decided, in 1970, to have it demolished so that the road could be widened.

A design and access statement submitted with the planning application states: ‘It is proposed that the fountain be rebuilt in sandstone as was the original, following the original design as much as possible.

‘The original dedication to William Wightman will be reinstated to the fountain.

‘However, this will be a fountain in name only, as there will be no water supply to the monument.

‘It is proposed to add approximately four wooden park benches round the fountain which will be dedicated to past worthies of Wooler, the names to be decided by the people of Wooler’.

The community initiative dates back to early last year when residents started questioning the whereabouts of the fountain after old photos were posted on the Wooler and district memories for all Facebook page.

Initially, it was hoped that the original fountain could be rebuilt, but this was quickly altered to a scheme for a replica or memorial on the same site.

Wooler Parish Council has agreed to take ownership, but only once planning permission has been granted.