Northern Ireland news

Fountain with `special powers' could be listed

The 165 year old water fountain in Coleraine. Picture by Mark Jamieson.

A RARE 150-year-old water fountain - famed for its "special powers" - could become a listed historical monument.

The fountain on a footpath at Captain Street Lower in the Waterside area of Coleraine attracts a steady stream of people carrying jerry cans to bring home the crystal clear spring water to drink.

Thought to date back to the 1870s Victorian era, it is starting to show its age and the community hopes listed status will help keep it in the area and see it getting a spruce-up.

The Historic Buildings Unit of the Department of the Environment has written to Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council for its views and the matter is due for consideration at a meeting later this month.

A government examination of the fountain classified it as "a rare surviving example of its type within the context of Northern Ireland….of historical interest as it predates mains water installation".

Sunny Ghaie (47), who is in business in Lower Captain Street, said: "You would see quite a few people there with their jerry cans filling up water. For many years you would see people there especially at the weekends filling up as many jerry cans as they could with a queue forming on Sundays at times as well.

"And the kids still use it when they walk down past it from school on a hot day. Some people swear by it that the water has health-giving properties."

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Northern Ireland news