A Fountain Memorial and the End of Slavery

Buxton Memorial – A Fountain Memorial in Victoria Tower Gardens:

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Buxton Memorial - A Fountain Memorial

Walking through the Victoria Tower Gardens, we came across the Buxton Memorial, an exquisite fountain memorial which was erected to commemorate the emancipation of slaves following the 1833 Slavery Abolition Act in the British Empire.

The fountain memorial was donated by Charles Buxton MP in memory of his father, Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, and others like William Wilberforce, Thomas Clarkson, Thomas Babington Macaulay, Henry Brougham and Stephen Lushington who fought for the abolition of slavery in the British colonies.

About the Buxton Memorial

The fountain memorial was originally sited in Parliament Square.  When Parliament Square was being redesigned after the Second World War, the memorial was removed and it was later erected in Victoria Tower Gardens in 1957 to mark the 150th anniversary of the Slave Trade Act 1807, an act which abolished the trans-Atlantic slave trade.  Personally, I think this peaceful and beautiful park is a much nicer location for the memorial.

The memorial was designed by S.S. Teulon in the Gothic style, the spire is timber framed, and clad with enamelled sheet steel. A range of materials and decorative techniques were used in its construction, including grey and pink granite, limestone, grey and red sandstone, rosso marble enamelled metalwork, wrought iron, mosaic and terracotta. Originally it also had eight decorative figures of British rulers on it, but four went missing in 1960 and the other four disappeared in 1971. Although they were replaced by fibreglass figures, these too were stolen by 2005 and the fountain was no longer working.  Following extensive restoration by the Royal Parks, the Memorial was unveiled on 17th March 2007 to commemorate the 200th anniversay of the passing of the 1807 Act.

Victoria Tower Gardens, as the name indicates, is a public park adjacent to the Victoria Tower, the tower at the south-western corner of the Palace of Westminster.

Map of Victoria Tower Gardens:

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