Jubilee Clock Tower Fountain

Location: The Esplanade, Shanklin, Isle of Wight.

The foundation stone of the clock tower was laid in 1887 to mark Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. The clock tower, built of local ashlar stone with a metal clock face and painted lead on a cast iron roof, was dedicated in 1897 to mark Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.

A dedication is engraved into the stone: This Clock Tower Was Paid By / Subscription From /The Lord Of The Manor And / The Inhabitants Of Shanklin / To Commemorate The / Diamond Jubilee Of / Queen Victoria 1897. The Clock tower was listed a grade II historic building in Feb 1992.

The drinking fountain was manufactured by Walter MacFarlane’s Saracen Foundry. Casting #15 is set into the south face of the tower. The wall mounted fountain with a fluted demi basin is 2’ 9” high. An arch faceplate bears the inscription “Keep the Pavement dry”. Two doves represent the symbolism of the spirit drinking from the water of life. The tap protrudes from a shell lunette which is repeated in the fluted basin. A single drinking cup was originally suspended on a chain.

Glossary

  • Ashlar: finely cut stone
  • Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting

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Alexandra Fountain

Location: Alexandra Park, Crosby, Liverpool, Merseyside, England

Alexandra Park was formally opened in December 1902. Although not an optimum month for opening festivities, officials were eager to open it during the Coronation year. The park was named as it was adjacent to Alexandra Road, and also in honour of Queen Alexandra and her coronation in August. A park access road was named Coronation Road.

The drinking fountain was installed in the park in 1903, and little more is known about the history of this drinking fountain. It was restored in 2009 by Sefton Council as part of National Love Parks Week. The project was led by Sefton Park Rangers and assisted by many local volunteers including the Seaforth Information Network Group. The fountain was repainted in the original colour scheme of black and gold, and as the water feature no longer worked the basins were planted with trailing plants.

Purchased from Glasgow’s Saracen Foundry casting number 19 is 10’ 10” high. The wide base is in the form of a St. Andrew’s cross, on which is set a circular shaft, ornamented with water lilies. Four lion jambs support four highly decorated quatrefoil basins. The stanchion and central column are decorated with floral relief. Four tendrils protruding from the column once suspended drinking cups on chains. The capital supports the finial, casting #150, a female figure that originally held a leaf above her head.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Lions are symbolic of guardianship and Samson is symbolic of strength.

Glossary

  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Jamb, a projecting vertical post containing sculpture
  • Quatrefoil, a type of decorative framework consisting of a symmetrical shape which forms the overall outline of four partially-overlapping circles of the same diameter
  • Stanchion, an upright bar or post providing support

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Gentleman Fountain

Location: West Bridge Street & Hope Street, Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland

Patrick Gentleman, and his brother John, owned a local drapery business at 85 High Street. Upon his demise he left a sum of money for the erection of an ornamental drinking fountain in the burgh. When new sheriff courthouses were built at the west end it was decided to erect the fountain on the vacant space between the south end and the public road.

The fountain was handed over in 1871 by Baillie John Gentleman, the sole executor of his late brother, to Provost Russel and the other magistrates, on behalf of the town.

In 1898, County Buildings, which were previously on Bank Street, had been built on the west corner of Hope Street. The fountain remained at this junction until 1923 when it was removed to allow construction of tramlines. The fountain no longer exists and is categorized as Lost.

Casting number 2 was manufactured by the Sun Foundry and was seated on a three tiered octagonal plinth that consisted of eight columns supporting a large solid domed canopy. An open filigree frieze decorated the outer edge of the cornice. Above the cornice was an elaborate filigree design with star shaped finials. The terminal on the six sided cupola was a bird with open wings. A single central lamp illuminated the interior of the structure.

The wide based font was casting number 12 or 13 (photographs do not reveal the detail required to differentiate.) Located on a raised and stepped platform the central pedestal was supported by four smaller columns stamped with a diamond pattern. The large basin had a square based pyramid relief on the rim and was partitioned by four foliate brackets from which cups were suspended on chains. Shell motif spouts released water flow. Square capitals on each side of the basin contained a seven pointed embellishment which may represent a star or the sun. A multi-tiered circular column was surmounted by a studded orb terminal.

Glossary

  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Cornice, a molding or ornamentation that projects from the top of a building
  • Cupola, a small, domed structure on top of a roof.
  • Filigree, fine ornamental work
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

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Brown Memorial Fountain

Location: Lodge/Court Street, Haddington, East Lothian, Scotland

Cast by Walter MacFarlane’s Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, this drinking fountain was erected in 1924, and originally known as the Brown Memorial Fountain. The structure was seated on a two tier circular plinth.

 

Casting number 19 (10’ 10” high) has a wide base in the form of a St. Andrew’s cross, on which is set a circular shaft, ornamented with water lilies. Four lion jambs support four highly decorated quatrefoil basins. The stanchion and central column are decorated with floral relief. Four tendrils (still visible) protruded from the column to suspend drinking cups on chains. The capital supports the finial, a statue of Samson. Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Lions are symbolic of guardianship and Samson is symbolic of strength.

The fountain now rests on a square plinth set inside a large circular stone basin. A green cast iron railing acts as a barrier and a decorative element. The design consists of thistles alternating with gold stars. Four large brass taps have been added from which water pours into the basins. Lights are positioned around the circumference of the stone basin and jets spray water towards the structure.

In 1917 a roadside buffet was set up at the fountain. Tea and biscuits were offered to tourists who took advantage of the bus tours that travelled from Edinburgh to the Border Abbeys. The minimal charge was a local contribution to the war effort.

Tourists are often tempted to throw coins into the basin wishing for good luck. These funds are periodically donated to charity. As the fountain is central to downtown Haddington, it is occasionally the target of pranksters. One highly successful prank involved soap powder which led to suds pouring onto the High Street.

The fountain was listed a category C historic building in 1977. It was cleaned and repainted in 1998.

Glossary

  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Jamb, a projecting vertical post containing sculpture
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests
  • Quatrefoil, a type of decorative framework consisting of a symmetrical shape which forms the overall outline of four partially-overlapping circles of the same diameter
  • Stanchion, an upright bar or post providing support

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Sacred Heart

Location: The Liberties, Dublin, Leinster, Ireland

This structure was originally a Victorian drinking fountain. It was manufactured by Walter MacFarlane’s Saracen Foundry in Scotland and bears little resemblance to the original casting.

Canopy_20_eaglecomeheretome2

 

A horse trough and drinking fountain were erected in 1884 at the intersection of Reginald and Gray Streets. The cost of the fountain was paid for by subscriptions from the Corporation of Dublin, The Fountain Committee, and the Artisans Dwellings Company (established by Sir Edward Cecil Guinness to build housing for the working class.)

During the War of Independence the eagle finial at the top of the dome was destroyed with a shot from the Tans (the Black and Tans were a force of temporary constables recruited to assist the Royal Irish Constabulary during the Irish War of Independence.)

The drinking font was replaced with a statue of the Sacred Heart in 1929 to commemorate the Centenary of Catholic Emancipation as recorded in the base of the Sacred Heart statue. ‘Erected By / The Parishioners./ Of / St. Catherine’s, / To The Honour And / Glory Of God / And / In Commemoration / Of The Centenary / Of The Emancipation / 1929.’ A cartouche on the front arch displays the year of the statue’s installation.

The fountain once again changed form when a furniture lorry collided with the structure. It remained in a state of ruin until it was restored by replacing the open fretwork canopy with a solid copper dome in preparation of the Papal visit in 1979. It was rededicated as recorded in a second engraving in the base of the statue: ‘Restored / To Mark The Visit Of / Pope John Paul II / To The Liberties / 29th Sept. 1979’. At this period in history the location of the shrine was used to recite the Rosary each night, and the annual celebration of Corpus Christi (a moveable feast between May and June) is still celebrated there.

The structure has been listed on the Record of Protected Structures #3326.

Casting number 20 (18 feet high) was from MacFarlane’s catalog manufactured by the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, Scotland and sat on a two tiered octagonal plinth. The drinking fountain canopy was supported by eight columns decorated with shamrocks and griffin terminals.

The highly decorated fret detail arches were trimmed with rope mouldings. Cartouches contained within each lunette displayed alternate images of cranes and swans and offered shields for memorial. On each side arch faceplates provided a flat surface for an inscription using raised metal letters; often the useful monition, Keep the pavement dry. Civic virtues such as temperance were often extolled in inscriptions on drinking fountains.

The ribbed dome was open filigree with an eagle finial at the apex. Doves and flowers offered decorative relief, and the internal capitals were statues of owls and lion masks.

Under the canopy stood the font (casting number 18.) The wide base was in the form of a St. Andrew’s cross, on which was set a circular shaft, ornamented with water lilies. Four lion jambs supported four highly decorated quatrefoil basins. Rising from the centre was a stanchion decorated with swan and bird decoration. A terminal with four arms offered drinking cups suspended by chains. As the fountain could be customized, there were various options for the font terminal: a crane, a kylix-shaped vase, an orb with floral tendrils, and a bust of Queen Victoria, etc. There is no evidence to show the selected option.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Griffins are symbolic of guardians of priceless possessions; lions are symbolic of guardianship; owls are symbolic of guardians of the afterlife, and eagles represent immortality.

Glossary

  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Cartouche, a structure or figure, often in the shape of an oval shield or oblong scroll, used as an architectural or graphic ornament or to bear a design or inscription
  • Filigree, fine ornamental work
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Fret, running or repeated ornament
  • Griffin, winged lion denotes vigilance and strength, guards treasure and priceless possessions
  • Jamb, a projecting vertical post containing sculpture
  • Kylix, a Grecian style drinking cup
  • Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests
  • Quatrefoil, a type of decorative framework consisting of a symmetrical shape which forms the overall outline of four partially-overlapping circles of the same diameter
  • Stanchion, upright bar or post providing support
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

Image Sources

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Sentinel Fountain

Location: Point Richmond, CA, USA

We have the Women’s West Side Improvement Club to thank for the Indian drinking fountain located at Park Place & Washington Avenue (once known as the Triangle, and more recently as Indian Statue Park.)

After researching options a design was selected from J. L. Mott’s catalog which would accommodate humans, horses and dogs: casting #53, Indian Chief.

The fountain was delivered in August and unveiled at a public ceremony on 4 September 1909. The merchants of Point Richmond closed business for 2 hours for the unveiling.

The statue fell to the ground in 1946 when a driver leaving a local bar crashed into the structure with his truck. The Indian was removed, and the metal was recycled to assist in the war effort.

In 1956 the WWIC lobbied the City to restore the fountain to its original state. The Public Works Department suggested that the horse trough was no longer required, and that only one basin should be retained as a water well, converting the remaining two basins into planters.

The fountain base was removed during the 1960s during renovation of the area known as the Triangle.

In 1982 plans to redesign this area raised the idea of replicating the Indian statue. Funding for a new statue was successful thanks to many local contributors. San Francisco Foundation and Skaggs foundation of Oakland were the major benefactors. The statue, sculpted by Kirk St. Maur, is not an exact replica of the original as can be seen in the attached photos. A comparison of the differences is detailed below. The statue was mounted on a granite base and rededicated on 20 October, 1984.

The water supply to the fountain was cut off in 2002 due to repeated vandalism. Funding to make repairs was organized two years later; however the cost was prohibitive, and the project cancelled.

Three bronze plaques relate the story of the Indian Statue Fountain.

  1. “THE SENTINEL” / KIRK ST. MAUR / SCULPTOR / DEDICATION / OCTOBER 20 1984 / MAYOR THOMAS J. CORCORAN / CITY OF RICHMOND, CALIFORNIA / HISTORY OF THE INDIAN STATUE / THE FIRST INDIAN STATUE WAS COMMISSIONED AND DEDICATED / AT THIS SITE IN 1909 BY THE WOMEN’S WEST SIDE IMPROVEMENT / CLUB. LOST TO THE RAVAGES OF TIME, THE STATUE FELL AND / BECAME SCRAP METAL FOR THE WORLD WAR II EFFORT. / MANY HAVE JOINED TOGETHER FOR TODAY’S DEDICATION. THE / HISTORICAL INTEREST IN THE CHOICE OF A NATIVE AMERICAN / REMAINS THE SAME: HIS FREEDOM LOST IN OUR PAST IS A / REMINDER OF HOW PRECIOUS FREEDOM IS AND HOW / PRECARIOUS SURVIVAL REMAINS.
  2. THE STATUE AND POINT RICHMOND TRIANGLE / RENOVATION HAS BEEN MADE POSSIBLE / THROUGH THE VISION OF ROD GARRETT AND / THE FOLLOWING CONTRIBUTORS: / THE SAN FRANCISCO FOUNDATION / CHEVRON RESEARCH COMPANY / THE ATCHISON TOPEKA AND SANTA FE RAILWAY /A comprehensive list of donors…
  3. ….THE POINT RICHMOND / HISTORY ASSOCIATION AND THE POINT RICHMOND / BUSINESS ASSOCIATION, REQUIRED ENTHUSIASM / AND FINANCIAL SUPPORT, DONATIONS HAVE BEEN / GIVEN IN THE NAMES OF THE FOLLOWING: / A comprehensive list of donors follows… / INDIAN STATUE DAY – OCTOBER 18,1986

The statue of an Indian was originally a wood carving created by Samuel Anderson Robb who was the leading cigar store Indian peddler. It was carved for William Demuth & Co. who cast it in zinc and advertised it in his catalog as “No. 53 Indian Chief.” In 1873, the J.L. Mott Iron Works purchased the design and listed it in their catalog of statuary. The statue was also offered atop a cast iron drinking fountain.

The fountain was manufactured by J. L. Mott Iron Works with dimensions of 5ft. 9ins. to the top of the head and 6ft. 6ins. to the top of the feathers. A large square base contained two small wells for dogs, a trough for horses and three demi basins for humans. On four sides, there was a lunette containing a frieze with lion masks. A column extended above with laurel decoration, guilloche and two consoles bearing globe lamps. The capital supported the Indian figure.

The original statue: In his right hand the Indian Chief held an arrow, and in his left hand he held a bow attached to a base near his left foot, which rested on a rock. (This stance is called contrapposto, where one leg bears the weight and the other leg is relaxed.) A tree stump behind his right leg balanced the sculpture. He was dressed in a headband containing three feathers, a bear claw necklace, a cloak, a breechcloth (fabric tucked into a belt that covered the front and back), fringed leggings and moccasins.

The current statue: In his left hand the Indian Chief holds a bow attached to a base near his left foot, which rests on a rock. A feather protrudes from the back of his head. A strap is worn diagonally across his chest from the left shoulder to right hip. He wears a cloak, a breechcloth (fabric tucked into a belt that covered the front and back), leggings and boots.

Glossary

  • Capital, The top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Console, A decorative bracket support element
  • Frieze, The horizontal part of a classical entablature just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Guilloche, Decorative engraving technique of two or more bands twisted over each other in which a very precise intricate repetitive pattern
  • Lunette, The half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting

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1911 Heat Wave

Location: New York City, NYS, USA

In July 1911, a heat spell in Eastern North America lasted 11 days hovering over the 100°f  mark. In New York City many were hospitalized and 146 died. A large percentage of the deaths were the elderly and labourers working outdoors in the incessant heat. Drinking fountains long out of use were ordered to be turned on by the Park Commissioner despite the fact that there had been little rain and a water shortage was threatened.

Even the deer in Central Park suffered, and when two deer sheltering under a tree collapsed they were brought to the Park Keeper’s quarters and were revived with the use of brandy.

600 horses died. Ten animals collapsed every hour of the working day for almost a week in Manhattan and the Bronx. They started the day healthy, and after an hour or more in the blazing sun they collapsed. Many delivery men returned to the cart to find one or both horses dead; some leaning hard against their harness partner. So many of them died in the street where they stood that there were few healthy animals available to haul the carcasses away.

The heat wave caused a financial strain on the city, and buckled railway lines causing derailments. The oppressive heat finally ended with a severe thunderstorm that killed an additional 5 people.

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Benson Memorial Fountain

Location: High Street & Portrush Road, Kensington, South Australia

In the 19th century, Dr. Benson was a family man and surgeon who served the Kensington and Norwood communities. The doctor was held in high regard for his policy of treating everyone equally, regardless of status, religion or wealth. When he was stricken with a severe case of pneumonia in July 1877, prayers and a three day vigil were held for his recovery. He died at age 39. A procession over a mile long containing hundreds of mourners followed the hearse from his home to his resting place in West Terrace Cemetery.

Public subscriptions enabled the purchase of a memorial drinking fountain to which the Council donated a lamp to surmount the structure. Reverend Dr. Tappeiner, on behalf of the Sisters of St. Joseph offered a triangle of land for the memorial, ‘granted by the Convent of St. Joseph whose inmates benefited from Benson’s regard’.

The F Company volunteer infantry, under the command of Captain Glyde, and the local Oddfellows and Foresters formed in procession at the Town Hall and marched to the scene of the ceremonial. The memorial fountain was unveiled in 1879 by Lady Elizabeth Smith, wife of Sir Edwin T Smith, Mayor of Adelaide (formerly Mayor of Kensington & Norwood) who handed it over to the current Mayor (Mr. S.D. Glyde.)

The fountain was registered on the Australian Heritage Database on 21 March 1978.

The structure was moved from its original location during the upgrading and widening of Portrush Road in 2004. At this time the drinking fountain was restored thanks to persistent lobbying of Council and Transport SA by Kensington Residents Association who also contributed to the cost of repainting in the original colour scheme.

Casting number 8 from William MacFarlane’s catalogue is 9 feet 6 inches high. The structure consists of four columns, from the capitals of which consoles with griffin terminals unite with arches formed of decorated mouldings.

On two sides cartouches contained within each lunette display the inscription; Erected By Public Subscription In Affectionate Remembrance Of The Late John Benson Surgeon 1877. The opposite two sides have shields containing the Australian coat of arms before the advent of Federation; (a shield in four quarters surmounted by a six point star. The 1st quarter contained a golden fleece, the 2nd contained a three mast schooner with sails rolled up, the 3rd quarter displayed a harpoon and anchor crossed diagonally, and the 4th quarter contained a wheatsheaf. To the left and right of the shield stand a kangaroo and emu.)

On two of the sides provision was made for receiving an inscription using raised metal letters; whilst on the other two sides was the useful monition, Keep the pavement dry. Civic virtues such as temperance were often extolled in inscriptions on drinking fountains. The structure is surmounted by an open filigree dome, the apex being an imperial crown.

Under the canopy stood the font (casting number 7) 5 foot 8 inches high; a single pedestal with four decorative columns rising from an octagonal base. Four salamanders descended the fountain pedestal as a symbol of courage and bravery. The basin had a scalloped edge and decorative relief. A central urn with four projecting tendrils offer drinking cups suspended by chains. The terminal was a crane. The font has since been replaced with a bubbler.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Griffins are symbolic of guardians of priceless possessions, salamanders display bravery and courage that cannot be extinguished by fire, and cranes are recognized as a symbol of vigilance.

Glossary

  • Capital: The top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Cartouche, a structure or figure, often in the shape of an oval shield or oblong scroll, used as an architectural or graphic ornament or to bear a design or inscription
  • Console: a decorative bracket support element
  • Cupola: a small, domed structure on top of a roof
  • Filigree, fine ornamental work
  • Fret, running or repeated ornament
  • Griffin, winged lion denotes vigilance and strength, guards treasure and priceless possessions
  • Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

 

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Queen Victoria Jubilee Drinking Fountain

Location: The Green, Shirehampton, Bristol, England

A cast iron drinking fountain originally located on a triangle of land at the northern edge of the Parade between Park Hill and High Street was erected in 1897 to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. The fountain was registered as a Grade II Historic Building on 8 January 1959.

Through a project funded by the Shirehampton Community Group (by public subscription) and the Bristol City Council the entire fountain was repaired, cleaned and repainted in the autumn of 1998.

Verse from an old Shirehampton folk song:
I met me first love in the village
(name of Mary-jean)
We shar’d a cup of water from
The fountain on the Green
We first sang carols there together
One cold Christmas Eve
Then went into The George to drink
Before I took me leave.

Casting number 8 from William MacFarlane’s catalogue is 9 feet 6 inches high. The structure consists of four columns, with arches formed of decorated mouldings. This casting usually had griffin terminals at the top of the capitals. However, in this example the griffins are missing, whether from decay or the original design, is unknown.

Cartouches contained within each lunette host the image of a crane, and a bust of Queen Victoria. On two sides provision was made for receiving an inscription using raised metal letters; Queen Victoria’s Daimond Jubiliee 1897 is displayed above the bust of the Monarch. An open bible displaying a verse from St. John’s Gospel chapter 4 verse 14, ‘Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst.’ and the useful monition, Keep the pavement dry were common features of this casting. Civic virtues such as temperance were often extolled in inscriptions on drinking fountains. The structure is surmounted by an open filigree dome, the apex being an imperial crown.

Under the canopy stands the font (casting number 7) 5 foot 8 inches high. A single pedestal with four decorative columns rising from an octagonal base. Four salamanders descend the fountain pedestal as a symbol of courage and bravery. The basin has a scalloped edge and decorative relief. A central urn with four projecting tendrils offer drinking cups suspended by chains. The terminal is a crane.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Griffins are symbolic of guardians of priceless possessions, salamanders display bravery and courage that cannot be extinguished by fire, and cranes are recognized as a symbol of vigilance.

Glossary

  • Capital: The top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Cartouche, a structure or figure, often in the shape of an oval shield or oblong scroll, used as an architectural or graphic ornament or to bear a design or inscription
  • Filigree, fine ornamental work
  • Fret, running or repeated ornament
  • Griffin, winged lion denotes vigilance and strength, guards treasure and priceless possessions
  • Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

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Jubilee Clock

Location: Douglas, Isle of Man

Situated at Victoria St and Loch Promenade this clock tower drinking fountain was donated by GW Dumbell in 1887 as a commemoration of the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria’s reign.

The front of the octagonal pedestal originally offered a large drinking trough for horses supported by legs in the form of hooves and fetlocks. Receptacles for human consumption were supplied in the form of small basins with a trefoil art-form located between the basin and the tap above.

Bands of quatrefoil fret are in each of the eight panels surrounding the pedestal. Seated above angled gables are eight commemorative panels of alternating cartouches with peaked terminals and arch faceplates. In rotational order:

  • 1887
  • The Jubilee Clock / Was Refurbished In 1996 / As Part Of / Douglas Corporation’s Centenary / Celebrations. / It Was Recomissioned At A / Ceremony Performed By The / Worshipful The Mayor, Mr. Councillor / D.W. Christian J.P. / On Sunday 22nd September / 1996.
  • Queen
  • A bust of Queen Victoria
  • Victoria
  • Presented / by / George William Dumbell / as a Jubilee gift / to the / Town of Douglas / June 1887
  • Jubilee
  • A bust of Queen Victoria

A two tiered acroter supports an attic base with four slender columns. The column capital supports a four sided clock bound by decorative spandrels. The acroteria is edged with elaborate scroll relief, and at each corner is an acorn finial, a symbol of life and immortality. The structure is surmounted with a decorative openwork corona terminating in a ball finial. A chiming bell cast by John Taylor & Co. of Loughborough, England is suspended in the centre of the corona. The 8-day clock mechanism was hand cranked and used a descending weight in the column. It was converted to electricity in 1965. The four clock faces originally lit by small gas jets were also converted to use electricity.

The clocks were dispatched to England for restoration in 1996 at which time an electronically operated mechanism and chime was installed.

On 20 September 2002 the structure was registered on the Protected Buildings Register.

In 2012 an application was made to move the clock tower to ease traffic flow. The move of eight metres has centrally positioned it in the street and enabled pedestrians to walk around the clock. Moving the clock tower, which weighs five tons, and seating it on a circular marble plinth, took two days. The feat was completed on 25 October 2013.

Glossary

  • Acroter, flat base
  • Attic base, a column base with two rings
  • Capital: The top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Cartouche, a structure or figure, often in the shape of an oval shield or oblong scroll, used as an architectural or graphic ornament or to bear a design or inscription.
  • Corona, a crown
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Fret, running or repeated ornament
  • Gable, triangular portion of a wall between edges of a dual pitched roof
  • Quatrefoil, a type of decorative framework consisting of a symmetrical shape which forms the overall outline of four partially-overlapping circles of the same diameter
  • Spandrel, the triangular space between two arches
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal
  • Trefoil, An ornamental design of three rounded lobes

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