Obelisk in honour of Henry Bright, The Parade, Leamington Spa

Description of this historic site

Obelisk in pink granite on a sandstone pedestal erected in 1875 (on the east side facing the Parade between Regent Grove and Hamilton Terrace) to honour Henry Bright for his contribution to the supply of pure water for public use in 1878.

Notes about this historic site

1 Obelisk. Dated 1880. Sandstone base, with pinkish-grey granite obelisk and plaque. Base square on plan with water bowl to front and surmounted by pedestal and obelisk. 2 steps to stepped and chamfered rusticated base. To front an water-bowl (now filled in) on triangular bracket projects as semi-circle and is set within semi-circular niche containing shell with non-functioning fountain. Surmounting pedestal has 4 short, square pillars to angles with recessed granite plaques between, that to front carries inscription, that to rear carries date. Frieze of stylized bay leaves splayed to support projecting cornice, with stylized scroll and zig-zag motif, stepped upwards as base of obelisk, itself in 4 sections. Inscription reads ‘ERECTED / BY PUBLIC SUBSCRIPTION / TO RECORD THE SERVICES OF / ALDERMAN HENRY BRIGHT / TO WHOSE UNTIRING EXERTIONS / THIS TOWN IS CHIEFLY INDEBTED / FOR ITS SUPPLY OF / PURE WATER’.
2 Henry Bright was a Leamington business man. He campaigned for improvements to the lives of ordinary people and served on various Boards such as the Board of Health. He campaigned against the pollution of the River Leam, from which much of Leamington was privately supplied with water. He overcame strong opposition to establish a borehole which secured an abundant supply of pure water, which was turned on for public use in November 1878. An obelisk was erected in his honour. There were some objections to its construction from William Willes, the son of Edward Willes whose obelisk was being constructed at around the same time (MWA19214). See page 45 for further details.
Page 44 has colour photographs of the obelisk, the inscription (referred to in 1 above), Henry Bright, and of Mr Bright with his obelisk in 1881.

More from Leamington Spa