LOCATION 30
 

 

DRINKING FOUNTAIN, OLD TOWN STREET

This Gothic style drinking fountain is located in Old Town Street on the corner of part of the surviving stone wall of Brook House. It was designed for public use. Though defunct as a drinking fountain today, it is still clearly visible set in the wall. It bears the inscription:

“C D MARCH
1877
Praise God from Whom
All Blessings Flow”

Brook House, formerly known as New Bridge House, was for many years the residence of Admiral Thomas Dick and his family. Rear Admiral Dick moved to Dawlish as a widower with his daughters, Catherine, Elizabeth, Ellen and Charlotte around 1850, and lived there up until his death in 1862. His grave lies in St Gregory’s Churchyard.

Elizabeth, Ellen and Charlotte continued to live at New Bridge House after their father’s death. In 1877 Charlotte Dick decided to commission the drinking fountain, and obtained the services of a well-known Cheltenham architect of the time, John Middleton, to draw up the plans. These incorporated Charlotte’s initials, the month and the inscription above. The fountain was reported in the Exeter & Plymouth Gazette/Daily Telegraph of Saturday, March 31, 1877 as being “of Bath stone” and having “a neat and effective appearance”.

After it was built in March 1877, Charlotte wrote and offered to hand over the drinking fountain to the Dawlish Local Board, on condition that they properly maintain it for use by the public. In May 1877 the Board accepted Miss Dick’s proposal and agreed to pay a nominal rent of 1s (one shilling) to each of the millers for the use of the water (from their leats) until an alternative water supply had been obtained by the Board.

Charlotte herself did not live much longer to enjoy the results of her philanthropy, and died in May 1889. She was survived by her sisters, Elizabeth and Ellen, the latter living to the age of 99 when she died in February 1925.