It was P. B. Shelley’s birthday a couple of days ago, and so my Twitter and Facebook feeds were filled with snippets of his poetry, various articles, and several pictures of the birthday boy himself (including one of Shelley surrounded by celebratory confetti and streamers – I’m looking at you, Otherwise known as the Shelley Fountain (or, among some locals, the Cornish Pasty), this sculpture by Angela Conner was installed in 1996 to commemorate the bicentenary of the birth of Shelley, who was from Horsham. The fountain is made up of a large globe mounted on a pillar; the globe slowly rises and falls, releasing a torrent of water at intervals. Or at least it’s meant to: the fountain was switched off for some time in order to save water, and then shortly after it was switched back on, it broke. The fountain’s water feature has not functioned properly since 2013. Horsham District Council has been discussing the future of the ‘Rising Universe’ over the past 12 months, and has looked into the cost of scrapping it, but no decisions appear to have been made yet.
The fountain attracted a lot of controversy when it was first installed, and …read more