The Crystal Fountain

The Crystal Fountain on Milford Street
With kind permission of The Salisbury Museum © Salisbury Museum

A frequent haunt of Percy Andrews the ‘cow walloper’, the Crystal Fountain stood at number 49 Milford Street – on the north side of the street, just below Guilder Lane.  Originally part of a brewery and built around 1840, it stood for over 100 years.  It ended its years as an ‘Ushers of Trowbridge’ pub.  It was closed in 1968 and demolished in 1969.  Modern offices now stand in its place.

It was not a casualty of the bypass, nor the 21st Century blight on old pubs and inns. Its demise was probably a simple commercial matter. Given that it was usually possible to count at least a dozen pubs in Milford Street and its immediate environs, occasional closures were perhaps inevitable.

But it’s still rather a pity. The Crystal Fountain had an elegant frontage, and it was by all accounts a popular rendezvous. Author Arthur Maidment, in his book “I Remember, I Remember” has a colourful description of the pub in the 1920s/30s.

Since completing our interviews we have heard from another old Salisbury hand that the redoubtable Percy Andrews (the “cow walloper”) would often finish a hard day’s work by downing five pints of beer in the Coach and Horses, another five in the Catherine Wheel and five more in the Crystal Fountain. He would then tamp the whole lot down with a dozen raw eggs before going home to bed.



Oh yeah the old Crystal Fountain there at, my mum used to work there because they used to do, take accommodations you know, bed and breakfasts and, my mum used to go down and help to change the beds and and do the bedrooms there, you know if they had accommodation there you know.

Our mum always used to send me down on Tuesday nights or around about eight o’clock, I suppose round about that way time to see Percy Andrews was there. And of course you know Percy Andrews is a cow walloper he worked for John Jefferies and if there was any cattle left over that never went by transport he had to wait for the next day, if there’s the cows, he used to milk ’em and he used to come back to the Crystal for, with the bucket of milk and I used, our mum used to send me down to there, to see if he was there, to take the jug down you know and I’d have a jug of milk if he was there and our mum, had given I don’t know if it were a penny or tuppence to pay for the milk that she had, you know.

Comments about this page

  • Back in 1965/6 this was my first under age drinking hideaway for a BWS 15/16 yr old boy.

    By Peter Catlin (25/06/2020)
  • Hi , my name is Don Turner and I with my wife Val had the Catherine Wheel Inn from 1965 for a few years.I employed Percy Andrews to wash the floors and clean the toilets every Sunday mornings. Bill Bletso, Tom Ford, Garnet White,Tom Noakes, Dot Haskell were all well known people in the area as well as Roy Osmond, Tom Oke Store,Bill Bence at the Wheatsheaf, Percy Maple, Hairdresser,Tom Ford at the Tollgate,George Farmer, both senior and junior, Dustmen and papersellers on corner of Winchester St. My e-mail is if anyone wants to know more about the history of the Catherine Wheel.

    By Don Turner (13/03/2019)
  • A lovely example of a sweet Wiltshire accent. Useful for teaching linguistics/phonetics as well as history.

    By J Doyle (22/05/2018)
  • Thank you for your comment Garry, I hope you have found our pages interesting.

    By John Palmer (04/04/2018)
  • Just to add that I have been researching my family and have discovered that my wife’s Great Great Great Grandmother was the same Ellen Jones who was the landlady of the Crystal Fountain from 1861 through 1891.

    By Garry Ashworth (03/04/2018)
  • Hi, I just wanted to let you know that my 2nd Great Grandfather & his wife were the Publicans of the Crystal Fountain Inn. Samuel Jones & his wife Ellen mentioned in the 1861 Census through to 1891.

    By Jackie Piper (31/03/2015)
  • Thanks for your comment Mark. We would love to hear some of your Grandad’s stories!
    Does anyone else have memories to share of the Crystal Fountain?

    By Clare Christopher (26/10/2014)
  • Hi there,
    I have looked for ages for a picture of the above pub!
    My Granddad, William (Bill) Bletsoe was the land lord. I grew up with his stories, although I am too young to remember the pub. I did know Arthur Maidment, one of my Granddad’s best friends and land lord of the White Horse in Castle Street.
    Thank you for posting this.

    By mark bletsoe (25/10/2014)

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