• Tony Bosworth

Bowl of stolen historic Richmond Park fountain resurfaces after flood clean-up

Updated: Aug 20, 2021

Back in October 1892, a modest but very important cast-iron fountain was placed on the Windsor Road side of Richmond Park to mark the fact the town and surrounds had just got their very first water system turned on.

It was officially switched on by the then Governor of NSW, Lord Jersey and his wife, complete with “the procession of carriages, preceded by the band and guard of honour”, as the Sydney Morning Herald reported at the time. It was a big event.

Scott Will's son Dustin with the dirt encrusted bowl they dug out of the riverbank

Perhaps fittingly, it rained all day.

But some time later parts of the statue – which cost at the time a hefty 30 pounds sterling – were stolen, including the ornate cherub with mermaid tail - and they disappeared. The remaining bits of the statue were then taken to Hawkesbury Museum for safe keeping and put on show.

But what do you know – those parts were also stolen from the Museum around seven years ago.

But now Windsor resident Scott Will has come forward after finding lost parts of the statue in his backyard, purely by chance, down by the Hawkesbury river.

“Before we moved in to the property there were squatters that moved in that were the ones who stole it [from the Museum] but it wasn’t till we moved in, someone spotted the base of the fountain on one of her history walks down on the embankment of our property, I pulled it up and it was handed back to Hawkesbury Council,” said Mr Will.

The recovered and cleaned-up bowl, and bottom centre the remains of the statue when it was originally moved to the Museum

“Six more years has passed and two floods later we have found the bowl,” he said on Sunday.

“After doing some cleaning up from the flood on the lower embankment and clearing around trees that were covered in vine I was showing my son Dustin what we would be doing with the area when I was resting my foot on what I thought was a tree root. A kick around of some dirt revealed it was a metal curved object, we cleared the flood debris away from the area and pulled out the bowl that was 95% covered in dirt.

“It was only for the trees stopping it from going over the edge and into the waters of South Creek, never to be seen again. I was very hesitant to just contact anyone about finding this and not because of the heritage department’s dealings in the past but because I’m worried that the council may have disposed of the base because of not having the bowl, and then what would become of the bowl if it is the only piece of the fountain left? But the right thing to do is to return it even though it would look great in my yard. So here it is.”

Well done, Scott. A part of Windsor’s Colonial heritage once more in safe hands. Let’s hope this time it stays where it’s placed and never stolen again.

If you are already a Hawkesbury Post supporter, thank you! Our site is free, relying on our supporters to operate. Independent journalism is more important than ever, please consider contributing.

Click here to see how

Don't pay so you can read it. Pay so everybody can read it!

682 views0 comments