|Coalbrookdale Fountain set to make a splash in Wigan
AN historic Wigan landmark is set to return more than 90 years after it was last seen.
As part of Mesnes Park’s £6.1m restoration the Coalbrookdale Fountain will be craned back into place on Thursday 30 May.
First introduced in 1878, the fountain was removed in 1921 after being filled in some years earlier.
Almost a century later the Coalbrookdale Fountain is being reinstated and restored in all its resplendent glory.
For Wigan restoration specialist Lost Art, restoring the beautiful fountain has been a labour of love and one of their trickiest restorations.
Managing Director of Lost Art Dominic Liptrot said: “For us this restoration began more than 18 months ago when we visited the Coalbrookdale Library and a replica in Lurgan, Northern Ireland. It’s been full on ever since.
“The skills needed to recreate the fountain were unbelievable. It’s been as difficult as any project we’ve worked on. We’ve used cutting edge technology in the form of laser scanning to create a 3D copy of the fountain, traditional wood carving and specialist casting.
“We even found as many old photographs as we could so that we could calculate the original angle all the cherubs and serpents faced. It isn’t just a replica, it’s an exact replica!”
Working with JT & E Castings in Wigan, those Victorian images of dolphins, serpents and cherubs will soon be gushing with water in Mesnes Park.
Stuart Murray, Chief Executive of WLCT which manages the park on behalf of Wigan Council, said: “Lost Art have gone to extraordinary lengths to ensure that the replica is exact in every detail. It will be a wonderful addition to what is an exceptional restoration of Mesnes Park and we can’t wait to see it in all its glory.”
Chris Ready, Cabinet member for Leisure and Culture, said: “This wonderful restoration scheme is heading into its final stages and this fountain really is the icing on the cake.”
Mayor of Wigan Cllr Billy Rotherham will officially unveil the fountain as part of a civic reception at a Picnic in the Park celebration on Sunday 30 June. There will be live music from Dr Jazz and the Jazz Cats between 12pm till 2pm, with the mayor formally unveiling the fountain at 1pm.
Mesnes Park’s magnificent restoration will continue at pace over the next few months and WLCT, manager of the site, is currently planning a celebration in September to mark completion.
Mesnes Park’s restoration has been made possible through a £6.1m investment by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Big Lottery Fund, Wigan Council and WLCT.