Fountains are such an important part of Trafalgar Square it is hard to imagine the Square without them, but Sir Charles Barry�s original plan did not include fountains. They were added by Barry in 1845 to break up the large open space, in a failed attempt to discourage the gathering of riotous crowds.

At first the fountains in Trafalgar Square were supplied by wells which dried up at the end of the nineteenth century. They now operate on mains water.

In 1938 it was decided to remodel the fountains as memorials to the two Admirals of the Fleet, Earls Jellicoe and Beatty. The fashionable architect Sir Edwin Lutyens was commissioned to do the job, but because of the Second World War and the architect�s death it was finally completed in 1948.

The fountains are peopled with bronze figures of tritons, mermaids and dolphins, all designed by Sir Charles Wheeler and William Macmillan. The pools are faced with light-blue tiles to enhance the water�s reflections.

Contemporary photographs by Jeremy Young

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