The Brett Fountain at the Henley Road entrance to the Upper Arboretum was donated by John Brett. He wrote to the Mayor of Ipswich and the Corporation of the town in October 1862 offering to donate a drinking fountain to Ipswich after seeing children playing in the Arboretum and noticing that there was no drinking water for them.
The Mayor accepted the gift and the Fountain was commissioned: it cost £64 to construct in the highly ornamental Italian style.
Mr Thomas Shave Gowing, a friend of John Brett, was inspired by this generosity to write a poem about the Fountain, which he recited at the opening ceremony.
The Brett Drinking Fountain was unveiled at noon on May Day 1863, but without the Mayor or the Deputy Mayor, Mr Edward Grimwade, who refused to attend saying “cold water is a cold subject to make a speech upon”.
The Brett Drinking Fountain was the first feature to be restored in Christchurch Park under the Heritage Lottery funded project, with Suffolk Masonry Services carrying out the work. Further work was carried out on the Fountain in 2011.