This picture of the fountain featuring the carved head of a lion, from whose mouth the water from a natural spring flows, was taken on Sunday, May 24th 2009. Although not clear in the picture, carved in the stone above the lion's head is the word 'HEMPSYKE'.
Below this are three plaques.
Man made the trough
The water God bestows
Then praise his name
From whom the blessing flows
Weary stranger here you see
An emblem of true charity
Richly my bounty I bestow
Made by a kindly hand to flow
And I have fresh supplies from heaven
For every cup of water given
According to legend, one day in 1864 a passing tramp refreshed himself at the font, possibly using a metal cup attached to a chain to prevent theft, that was often a feature of these roadside oases. He called at the house and arranged for the following plaque to be erected by way of thanks:
The stream is pure as if from heaven it ran
And while I praise the Lord I'll thank the man
To find the fountain from Whitby, go through Ruswarp over the bridge. Carry on past Sneaton and take the next turning on the right signposted Littlebeck 2, Sleights 2. Don't turn off towards Ugglebarnby though, follow the lane on in the Littlebeck direction. The font is set in the wall directly by the roadside on the left hand side.