National Recording Project


Detail from: Memorial to 158 Squadron by Peter W. Naylor, 2009

Chancellor Law's (1790-1876) Fountain


Type Fountain

     The fountain has a round basin with a rusticated surround with four projections for the couched lions. The central bowl has an octagonal base with naturalistic herons, fish and reed upon it. Above this a basin of foliage forms supports a figure with two fish tails blowing a conical shell.
     The fountain was a gift to the people of Lichfield from Chancellor Law. The poster detailing the opening of the fountain in 1871, lists the afternoon's events. This included a procession around the fountain led by the Mayor of Lichfield and Chancellor Law. Whilst the procession took place children sang the Old Hundredth Psalm. After the hymn the Chancellor handed the keys over to the Mayor. The ceremony ended with the fountain in operation.(2) The fountain now only plays at irregular intervals.
     Chancellor James Thomas Law (1790-1876), was the Chancellor of the Diocese and Master of hospital of St John, and known to the people of Lichfield as Chancellor Law. He was educated at Christ'sCcollege, Cambridge graduating in 1812, and taking orders in 1814. He has been described as 'a one-man civic society'(1) and gave much to the City including the statue of Samuel Johnson in the market place. He also chaired the committee which built Lichfield's public library. His sense of civic duty continued after his wife's death, when he built a large mausoleum close to the road with a clock upon it for passing travellers.


Beneath iron structure, around circular base: PRESENTED TO THE CITIZENS OF LICHFIELD BY CHANCELLOR LAW MAY 18 1871

Contributor details

Contributor Role
unknown, None Artist

Element details

Part of work Material Dimensions
Figure Iron, painted 1.2m high
Lions Ashlar None
Urn (missing) Ashlar None
Base Iron, painted 30cm high
Bowl Iron, painted, with stone retaining wall 6 m diameter
Bird, foliage Iron, painted 1.3m high
Plinth Stone 60cm high

PMSA recording information

Reference Region
STliLIlb004 BM
General condition Fair
Surface condition
  • Corrosion, Deterioration
  • Abrasions, cracks, splits
  • Metallic staining
Structural condition
  • Armatures exposed
  • Loose elements
  • Water collection
  • Broken, missing parts
  • None
Road Beacon Street
Precise location Museum Gardens
A-Z ref 151 2F
OS ref SK117096
Date of design None
Year of unveiling 1871
Unveiling details Opening on Thursday, 18 May 1871, at 3.00 in the afternoon
Commissioned by Chancellor John Thomas Law
Duty of care Lichfield City Council
Listing status II
At risk? At Risk

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