Historic fountain trashed in King Edward Park

REPLACING a 133-year-old fountain that was trashed by vandals will cost Newcastle City Council ‘‘a minimum’’ of $30,000.

The historic sandstone fountain at Horseshoe Bend in King Edward Park was discovered toppled and smashed early yesterday morning.

Video: Ben Smee reports from the scene.

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Video by Amy Spear

It is unclear whether the vandals used a vehicle or physically pushed the heavy rose-shaped bulb from the top of the fountain.

The council assessed the damage yesterday.

The fountain was restored by the council as recently as 2007.

Newcastle City Council released a strongly worded statement yesterday that said the ‘‘senseless destruction’’ of the fountain would not be tolerated, and that the council was working with police to track down the offenders.

Recently the council has refrained from publicising events of vandalism for fear it encourages the destruction of public property.

‘‘We would like to urge members of the community to contact council if they have any information regarding this disgraceful act of vandalism,’’ the statement said.

Built in 1879 and initially placed in Scott Street outside Newcastle Railway Station, the fountain was moved to Upper Reserve, now King Edward Park, in 1888.

On August 15, 1979, the Newcastle Morning Herald described the fountain as being constructed ‘‘of light stone, about ten feet in height, with troughs for dogs, cattle or horses attached’’.

‘‘Two basins run around the upper portion, whilst from the extreme top a rose scatters sufficient water to form an orthodox fountain.’’

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