CRICH PARISH

which consists of the villages of Crich, Fritchley and Whatstandwell.

Whatstandwell Bridge Station Drinking Fountain

George Wigglesworth
(Photographs courtesy of John Slaney)

There is a dirinking fountain at the site of the original Whatstandwell Bridge railway station, behind what is now called the Derwent Hotel (once the Bulls Head).

photo of Whatstandwell drinking fountain

Around the outside of the stonework is carved 'WHATSTANDWELL' in big letters - though it is actually spelled 'WATSTANWELL' with the N as a mirror image.

photo of date on whatstandwell fountain
MDCCCLXI
(1861)

There is no sign of a brass plate, or plaque, recording any ‘event' for the erection of this fountain apart from a couple of places where there might have been attachments to the left of the upper plumbing hole.

In 1860 Francis Hurt paid for the erection of a drinking fountain on the station, which is built into the retaining wall of the canal. It was to this station Florence Nightingale returned from the Crimea, incognito, to be met here by Lady Auckland, a daughter of the Hurts.

photo of drinking fountain

The Sites and Monuments Record [H.E.R.] states
The original station, 1849, exists as a platform and simple wooden building at the north end of the tunnel, behind the Derwent Hotel. In the railway embankment wall, opposite, is a drinking fountain, presumably to represent the original well, bearing 'WATSTANDWELL MDCCCLXI'.

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