Southend’s civic fountain granted Grade II listing

Southend’s civic fountain on Victoria Avenue has been listed at Grade II by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, on the advice of Historic England.

The fountain is designer William Mitchell’s only known public sculpture in Faircrete (a fibrous concrete which could be moulded like potters’ clay). It is a rare surviving example of a public fountain by the artist.

Eilíse McGuane, Historic England listing advisor, said: “This exciting sculptural work was an integral part of the post-war renewal of Southend-on-Sea and represents the innovative approach taken to civic design at that time. It is a rare surviving example of a public fountain by William Mitchell, one of the most celebrated sculptors of the late 20th century. Seen and enjoyed by local people and visitors every day, it celebrates Southend’s unique heritage.”

Councillor David Garston, deputy cabinet member for arts, culture, heritage and leisure at Southend City Council, added: “Preserving our cultural heritage is not just about conserving artefacts; it’s about safeguarding the stories and memories they hold. The listing of the Civic Fountain underscores the importance of recognising and celebrating our shared history. It’s a testament to the innovative spirit of its time and a cherished part of Southend-on-Sea’s identity.”