The John Baptist Fountain is a rare example of a mid-19th century Australian garden fountain. It is the oldest extant locally made ornamental fountain in NSW and one of the oldest in Australia.


The fountain was installed by the 1860s in the Baptist Gardens in Redfern. It was donated by the family following the death of John Baptist and installed in Hyde Park in 1888 for the centenary of European settlement.

The fountain was first installed to the east of the main avenue of Hyde Park North. In 1912 it was damaged by tree roots and during the early 1920s it was relocated to its current location.


The fountain underwent significant restoration work between 2010- 2012.

The City worked closely with the descendants of John Baptist, garden historians, stonemasons, and conservators to bring the fountain back to its earliest known condition, and make it an operating garden water feature once again.

The fountain centerpiece has been meticulously restored including the re-carving of the clamshell top, and the carp that flank its base.

Works included a slight relocation of the fountain away from tree roots, reconstruction of the stone basin to match the original design and construction technique, and installation of a new pump system.

Pavement inserts informing of the fountain’s previous locations have also been included.


Conservators: International Conservation Services
Heritage Consultant: Colleen Morris
Traditional Stone Masonry: Central Feature Carving
Construction Contractors: Civil Constructions Pty Ltd
Plaques: Central Foundry

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