Friday, 18 May 2012

Lady Mairi Bronze

I am delighted to see that the bronze fountain, depicting the late Lady Mairi Bury, has been restored by the National Trust.

Lady Mairi was the youngest child of the 7th Marquess and Marchioness of Londonderry.

The fountain is in the formal gardens of Mount Stewart, on the Ards Peninsula, County Down, ancestral seat of the Londonderrys.

It is more than 80 years old and was modelled on Lady Mairi when she was a toddler.

The bronze is around two feet tall and has a number of water jets radiating from it.

The head gardener of the property, Neil Porteous, said it was commissioned in 1925 and put in place three years later.
"The gardeners built the plinth around which has Mary Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow. I think it is a lovely thing to have everything working in a garden, as it should do. It's perfect for kids to play in."
Lady Mairi died at Mount Stewart at the age of 88 in 2009.

Mr Porteous said much fun could be had when the jets in the fountain are turned up in warmer weather: "With the spring we have been having, people would be getting hypothermia if they got wet, but you can turn it right up on a sunny day just for a bit of fun," he said.

The 7th Marquess commissioned the famous sculptor Margaret Wrightson to design the work.

Lady Mairi fountain
Mr Porteous said her sculptures can be seen at locations all over the world, including Hyde Park in London. The water flow can be turned up in warmer weather for children to play in.

The fountain is rarely turned on, but Mr Porteous said it would be in full flow on Saturday during the annual craft fair.

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