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Coleraine 'healing powers' fountain may get listed status

By Nevin Farrell

Published 18/02/2016

Water flows from the Victorian fountain in Coleraine
Water flows from the Victorian fountain in Coleraine

A Victorian water fountain said to have healing powers could be given listed status.

The fountain on Captain Street Lower in the Waterside area of the town attracts a stream of people each day.

Some even take the water to the sick because they swear by its health-enhancing qualities.

The fountain, which was built between 1860 and 1879, is starting to shows its age, but the Department of the Environment hopes to preserve it by making it a listed structure.

It has written to Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council for its views, and the matter is due for consideration at a meeting later this month.

A Government report on the fountain, which was built by Glenfield Co Ltd of Kilmarnock, said it was "a rare surviving example of its type within the context of Northern Ireland… of historical interest as it pre-dates mains water installation".

The report added: "It is thought that a borehole drew spring water from 80ft below. (It is) significant also from a social perspective as a supply of water to local residents, many of whom would not have this facility within their own homes (when the fountain was built)."

Andrea Leighton (31), who works in a gym near the fountain, said she and the gym's customers utilised it often.

"When I am working I see people using it every day," she added. "In a four or five-hour shift I have seen half-a-dozen people, if not more. People fill up gallons, and a lot of our clients would fill up their water bottles with it before they come in.

"You see everybody; anybody from schoolkids to the trainers in here and people pulling up in their cars who have purposefully driven over to fill up."

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