The Bowker Fountain Began Operation – 26th February 1931

On 26th February 1931, the Bowker Fountain began operation in Victoria Square.

Since 1864, Henry Layton Bowker had worked his land and estate business opposite Market Place (Victoria Square) on Colombo Street. Quite often he caught himself glancing out his window thinking how nice it would be to have a fountain to look at.

When Bowker made his last will and testament in 1915, he included his wish to gift a fountain to Christchurch. It would take ten years after his death for his dream to come true. On the site that began as they city’s first animal pound, the Bowker Fountain – Australasia’s first fountain illuminated by electricity – took its pride of place in Victoria Square. It was designed by Victor Hean.

Damaged by the earthquakes of 2011, the fountain has survived against the odds. Happily, in recent artist impressions of the future Victoria Square, the Bowker Fountain remains, restored back to its former glory and very much a part of Christchurch and the future!

*Image courtesy of the Canterbury Public Library – – File Reference CCL Photo CD 8, IMG0097

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