Record Reign of Queen VictoriaPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Heather Stevens

The fountain commemorates Queen Victoria`s record reign in 1897. 

In 1897 the Australian colonies, like British colonies elsewhere, enthusiastically celebrated Queen Victoria`s Diamond Jubilee, the Sixtieth Anniversary of her accession to the throne. In Ryde the record reign celebrations were initiated by the Rev Henry Ham Britten, the incumbent of St Anne`s Church. Subscriptions were collected and Arthur Collingridge, Vice-President of the Art Society of New South Wales and a resident of Ryde, proposed that the money be used to erect a drinking fountain.

By the 1920s, increasing motor traffic, led to the removal of the fountain from its original location to the small reserve at the intersection of Victoria and Blaxland Road. In 1973 Ryde Rotary Club carried out landscaping works to the area surrounding the fountain and at the same time turned the monument into an ornamental fountain. In 1997 the Ryde Heritage Taskforce wrapped the fountain to commemorate its 100th Anniversary. An unwrapping ceremony was held on Sunday, 27 April, 1997.

Victoria (24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901) was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. From 1 May 1876, she adopted the additional title of Empress of India. With a reign of 63 years, seven months and two days, Victoria was the longest - reigning British monarch and the longest-reigning queen regnant in world history until her great-great-granddaughter Queen Elizabeth II surpassed her on 9 September 2015.

Queen Victoria`s birthday, 24th May, used to be called `Empire Day`. There were special assemblies at school with songs praising the British Empire. Children were then given a half-day holiday. Up to the 1950s, Empire Day was celebrated in Australia with huge bonfires and fireworks.


Address:Blaxland & Victoria Road, Benson Place, Ryde, 2112
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.816418
Long: 151.109308
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Fountain
Monument Theme:Government
Designer:Arthur Collinridge


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 30th October, 1897
Front Inscription

Erected by the people of Ryde

To commemorate the record reign of Her Majesty Queen Victoria

1837 - 1897

Left Side Inscription

This fountain was presented to the Municipality of Ryde by the Rotary Club of Ryde on the 21st June, 1975

T Greenwood  Mayor Ryde Municipal Council
N S Shute        President Rotary

Inscription in Proximity

Donated by the Rotary Club of Ryde

Because of the unique design of the fountain base the profile of Queen Victoria`s face can be seen from any side (As shaded)

Source: MA,HNSW
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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