Formby Drinking Fountain

Location: Port Adelaide, South Australia

John Formby was a J.P. and the Mayor of Port Adelaide for four successive years, 1870-1873. As a mark of appreciation, a public subscription raised money ‘to order a handsome fountain from Scotland’. The location was chosen to serve the large number of men who frequently worked on North Parade opposite Nelson Street. It was unveiled on Saturday 27 May 1877 by the Mayor in the presence of Mr. Formby.

Casting number 8 from William MacFarlane’s catalogue is seated on a three tiered plinth, the first from the ground was Macclesfield marble, and the other two were Mintaro slate. It is 9 feet 6 inches high and consists of four columns, from the capitals of which consoles with griffin terminals unite with arches formed of decorated mouldings.

Cartouches contained within each lunette host the image of a crane, and 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.’ A dedication crest in one of the lunettes states, Erected / by public subscription / to / John Formby Esq. J.P. / Mayor / 1870-1-2&3. A second lunette displays the Coat of Arms for Port Adelaide, depicting a crest held by an Aboriginal man and a sailor with the motto Haud pluribus impaSecond to none. 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 stands the font (casting number 6) 4 foot 11 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. The original design was a central urn with four projecting tendrils offering drinking cups suspended by chains. Water flowed when a knob beneath the spout was pressed. In the interest of public hygiene the original fountain was 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.

A National Trust marker is set into the ground beneath the coat of arms. The fountain is still visible outside the Port Adelaide Police Complex at the intersection of St. Vincent St. and Lipson Street.

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
  • Filigree, fine ornamental work
  • 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

Image Sources

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikecogh/3418055844/in/gallery-47101250@N00-72157626477359336/

http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM9KDC_National_Trust_Port_Adelaide_Fountain

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cast_iron_drinking_fountain_port_adelaide.jpg

 

Market Square Fountain

 Location: Northampton, Northamptonshire, England

This is a lost fountain. The only part remaining is an engraved plaque which is retained at the Abington Museum: Presented to / the Mayor and / Corporation / in trust for the inhabitants / by Samuel Isaac / Captn. Commandt. / of the 5th Corps of / Northamptonshire / Rifle Volunteers / 1863.

The fountain was manufactured by the Eagle Foundry of Northampton. There is a historic tale that the owners and brothers, Edward and William Barwell, made two fountains. The second fountain sank during the voyage to Australia.

The fountain was erectedin 1863 at the south-side of the Market Square to commemorate the marriage of Prince Albert to Princess Alexandra of Denmark. It was no ordinary cast-iron fountain, 45 feet high and 19 feet wide with many of the enrichments cast in valuable bronze.

The structure was seated on an octagonal plinth with four steps leading to the base of the fountain which formed a St. Andrew’s cross. A decorative sculptured jamb was located on each corner. Drinking basins were located on the north and south sides and shields bearing inscriptions on the east and west sides. Emblems, masks, and shields containing the Borough’s coat of arms and the crest of Captain Samuel Isaac were visible on the lower parts of the structure.

Four tazzas with water fountains poured water into basins which then fell into masks and finally into the drinking fountain basin. The acroter supported a highly decorative ornamental column with a gilt globe lantern, 4 feet in diameter, surmounted by a Maltese cross.

In 1930 the Market Square fountain was renovated, and the globe lamp which had already been replaced by 1900 was replaced once again with four suspended lamps.

After being a much loved focal point of the Market Place for almost a century, the cast iron fountain was removed in 1962 due to repeated vandalism and the opinion that the structure was unsafe. This opinion was proven false when it took several days, six men, a crane and a blowtorch to remove it.

The stone steps remained and were used by market traders to stack their goods. In due time the steps and the cobbles in the square were also removed leaving no vestige of the fountain ever being there.

Glossary

  • Acroter, flat base
  • Jamb, a projecting vertical post containing sculpture
  • Maltese cross, a cross with four arms of equal length, each arm in a “V” shape, and eight points
  • Mask, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face, or head, of a human being or an animal
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.
  • Tazza, A shallow saucer-like dish either mounted on a stem and foot, or on a foot alone.

 

Image Sources

https://www.flickr.com/photos/nfhs/with/7716180100/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1444977242404160/photos/

 

Tomintoul Fountain

Location: Tomintoul, Moray, Scotland

The town of Tomintoul (famous for the Glenlivet Estate and renowned whisky of the same name) was originally designed by the Duke of Gordon in the 18th century with a grassy square which formed a focal point in the 40 foot wide Main Street.

The drinking fountain donated by Robert Gordon is casting #41 from the Lion Foundry and was erected in the Square in 1915.

The fountain is 12 ft 8 ins high and stands on a square stone base upon which is a square grate. The central column is decorated with palmette and acanthus relief. Quatrefoil basins are supported by a square base with chamfered corners. Panels above each basin are decorated with floral relief divided into sections by a compass cross. The centre circle contains a lion mask with self closing tap from which water spouts. A black dedication plaque is on two sides.

The capital supports a multi-level acroter surmounted by the figure of a woman dressed in flowing robes holding an olive branch in her left hand while supporting an urn on her head with her right hand.

The two cast-iron stools were originally located beneath the basins to assist children and are inscribed with the words, ‘Step Up Bairns’

The fountain was listed a Category C historic building on 9 November 1987.

Glossary

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Acroter, flat base
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Chamfered, a beveled edge connecting two surfaces
  • Compass cross, a cross of equal vertical and horizontal lengths, concentric with and overlaying a circle.
  • Palmette, a decorative motif resembling the fan shaped leaves of a palm tree
  • 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

 

Image Sources

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ornamental_Drinking_Fountain,_Tomintoul_-_geograph.org.uk_-_264126.jpg

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Drinking_Fountain_at_Tomintoul_-_geograph.org.uk_-_588977.jpg

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ornamental_drinking_fountain,_Tomintoul_-_geograph.org.uk_-_260054.jpg

http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2227767

 

Pearson Park Fountain

Location: Kingston-upon-Hull, England

Henry John Atkinson, a ship owner and a politician who was elected Mayor of Kingston-upon-Hull in 1864 and 1865, presented this fountain to the town in 1864. It was erected in Pearson Park and stands on a two tiered square plinth.

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. Cartouches contained within each lunette host the image of a crane, a dedication shield with the inscription, Presented by Henry John Atkinson 1864, the town’s coat of arms represented by three stacked crowns, and 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.’ The structure is surmounted by an open filigree dome. The original terminal of an imperial crown is missing.

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 globular urn with four projecting tendrils originally offered drinking cups suspended by chains. The standard terminal with this design was a crane surmounted on an urn.

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.

The fountain was recorded as a Grade II listed building in 1994. It was restored in 2008 by T.H. Dick & Co. Ltd. under the management of a charitable trust of the City Council, and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

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
  • 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

Image Sources

http://www.paul-gibson.com/streets-and-architecture/fountains.php

http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/3845760

http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/718450

http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/218373

Alum Chine Fountain

Location: Alum Chine, Westbourne, Bournemouth, Dorset, England

A chine is a steep dry river valley. Alum Chine is the largest of four chines within the Bournemouth area.

This 20th century drinking fountain is located at the southern end of Alum Chine near the beach. It was manufactured by Andrew Handyside’s Britannia Foundry and is a modified version of design number 24. The Company’s stamp is displayed on two sides.

The 8 foot high cast iron fountain rests on a concrete foundation inset into a small walled recess (sand has now obliterated the wall and foundation.) The multi-tiered rectangular pedestal has a square base with chamfered corners. A panel has been created on all four sides with the application of a raised border. The panel on two of the four sides is empty and the remaining two panels contain a protruding half basin with fluted edge and an inverted finial. The water spout and cup holders are missing. In their place is a plaque providing data of the manufacture and history of the fountain. The body of the pedestal is edged with sculptured fasces.

A multi-level acroter originally supported a terminal of two dolphins intertwined around a trident. Photographic evidence reveals that the trident and part of a dolphin’s tail have been missing for many years.

With exposure to the sea and weather the cast iron rusted and a fresh coat of paint applied. Although no restoration has been attempted it has regained a little of its dignity.

Glossary

  • Acroter, flat base
  • Fasces, a bound bundle of rods
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

Image Sources

Alum Chine, Westbourne, Bournemouth, Dorset

http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1501474

Alum Chine - Bournemouth ... dolphins - Handyside & Co.

Crocodile Fountain

Location: Concarneau, Brittany, France

The historical town of Concarneau was once a centre for shipbuilding and today is a large fishing port. Part of the town is behind a walled fortification which has been in existence since the 17th century. Known as the Ville Close it sits on an island in the harbour which is reached via a drawbridge.

Within the Ville Close at the  is a drinking fountain which was erected in 1856 to provide drinking water to the inhabitants. It was originally erected on the mainland at Pénéroff Place Saint-Guénoléquay where fishermen utilized it before heading out to sea. The fountain was relocated behind the walled town sometime between the post-war period and the1960s.

The fountain approximately 8 feet high is seated on an octagonal granite basin base designed by the famous architect Joseph Bigot. The drinking fountain is cast iron and is the work of the sculptor Jean-Baptiste Claude Eugène Guillaume.

The rectangular column with attic base has a square foundation with chamfered corners and is surmounted by a lamp. On two sides a shield contains sculptured water lilies and bulrushes. The alternate sides containing the drinking fountains are more elaborate.

Floral relief is visible at the base of the shield which contains a human mask. A brass tap emerges from the mouth of the mask to release drinking water which then flows into a drain in the granite base. Two winged cherubs holding ribbons of flowers are seated above the panel. An acroter with chamfered corners supports statuary of a turtle and an otter in the company of a crocodile with head raised and mouth open. A fish is held between its teeth. The lamp terminal is surmounted on the fish.

The square and drinking fountain were restored in 2011.

Glossary

  • Acroter, flat base
  • Attic base, A column base with two rings
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

Image Sources

http://paris1972.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/concarneau-de-pl-du-petit-chateau-to-rue-vauban-jan13.jpg

https://www.flickr.com/photos/thedouglascampbellshow/3121908610/

https://www.facebook.com/tourisme.concarneau/timeline

http://photosfrancecotesouest.eklablog.fr/photo-de-la-fontaine-aux-crocodiles-de-concarneau-ville-close-a66147977

http://www.leglobeflyer.com/reportage-2-199.html

https://www.flickr.com/photos/21057963@N08/8558209622

 

East Drinking Fountain

Location: Austin, Texas, USA

An artesian well was built over the Trinity aquifer in 1889 to supply water to the Capitol. In 1903 a cast iron drinking fountain with overhead electric light fixture was placed over the well to provide the public with a drinking source. It is located on the east side of the great walk leading to the Capitol building’s main front entrance.

The canopied fountain was manufactured by J.W. Fiske of New York. Seated on a circular base with four stanchions, an elaborate pedestal supports the fluted basin. Four narrow columns with beaded detail and attic base support the solid dome. The capitals are acanthus. The terminal is a fish scale post with a large central globe and four smaller globes located in compass directions. The interior of the dome contains a cone shaped obelisk, with open lattice work and acanthus relief, which releases water into the basin by pressing on a foot lever. The fountain visible today is a reproduction. The original fountain offered a metal cup suspended on a chain.

An information plaque located nearby relays the history of the fountain. “The artesian well completed at this site in 1889 furnished an ample and inexpensive water supply for the new Capitol. At a depth of about 1,550 feet, natural pressure forced water from the Trinity aquifer to the surface. The powerful flow of water satisfied drinking, sanitary and fire protection needs for the Capitol. A coal-fired boiler converted the well water into steam, which turned the building’s first electric generator, and circulated through radiators to warm the Capitol’s interiors. The abundance of well water for irrigation made possible the first landscape improvements, including a lawn of sod and more than a 100 new trees. A cast-iron drinking fountain placed over the well in 1903, provided continuously running well water and metal drinking cups hanging from chains. Convinced that the mineralized water possessed medicinal value, visitors hauled it away in bottles for the next 73 years. In 1928, a granite water fountain replaced the cast-iron fixture. Officials closed the well in 1980 due to more stringent water quality standards. This reproduction fountain, installed in 1996, provides safe drinking water with a gentle step on the root lever.”

Glossary

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Attic base, a column base with two rings
  • Obelisk, a tall, four-sided, narrow tapering monument which ends in a pyramid-like shape at the top
  • Stanchion, upright bar or post providing support
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

 

Image Sources

https://www.flickr.com/photos/auvet/6223378189/

http://www.matthewbollom.com/2012/06/texas-state-capital/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/courthouselover/3575083016/

http://www.christoperj.com/2012/03/austin2012-texas-capitol-grounds.html

http://myaustinview.blogspot.ca/2014/02/texas-capitol-artesian-well.html

Richard Russell Fountain

Location: Limerick, Munster, Ireland

Officially opened in 1877 the People’s Park was given to the people of Limerick in honour of Richard Russell, a prominent local businessman and highly regarded employer. A drinking fountain provided by employees of Russell Flour Mills and the former Carnegie Library was also unveiled at the same time.

In 2009 Limerick City Council and Limerick Civic Trust decided to restore the fountain as it had fallen into disrepair. The project was undertaken by Eura Conservation Ltd. funded by Limerick City Council, the Earl of Limerick Fund, the People’s Park Trustee Fund, Civic Trust resources and conservation money. The fountain was dismantled and shipped to England where it was blasted, cleaned, repaired and a paint analysis was done. Missing parts were recreated using moulds from a restoration of the same fountain design in Belfast which was also restored by Eura. After repainting the structure was weatherproofed.

It was returned to Limerick in November 2009. The fountain adorned with lights to illuminate the structure was rededicated by the mayor of Limerick, Kevin Kelly.

The fountain was manufactured by George Smith’s Sun Foundry in Glasgow, Scotland. Casting number 2 is seated on an octagonal plinth and consists of eight columns supporting a large solid domed canopy. The open filigree frieze above the cornice is expanded to the interior of the dome, and the outer edge of the cornice is decorated with Maltese crosses. The ribs on the domed roof are outlined with stars or suns. The six sided cupola is trimmed with a rope design and is surmounted with a weathervane finial consisting of four scrolls with leaves and suns/stars pointing in four compass directions.

The wide based font is casting number 13 and is supported by four pedestals stamped with a diamond pattern. Square capitals on each side of the dog toothed basin contain a seven pointed embellishment which may represent a star or the sun. Four consoles with acanthus relief connect the centre stanchion to the basin. A multi tiered circular column is surmounted by a studded orb terminal.

Glossary

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Consoles, a decorative bracket support element
  • 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
  • Stanchion, upright bar or post providing support
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

 

Image Sources

https://www.flickr.com/photos/steampunktendencies/galleries/72157633620378136#photo_5011594526

 

Plaza de Cataluña Fountain

Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina

The Plaza de Cataluna at Arroya located in Buenos Aires hosts a replica of the Font de Canaletes drinking fountain in Barcelona, Spain. The fountain was donated to the city by Barcelona City Council in association with the Sociedad General de Aguas de Barcelona Company involved in water access in Argentina.

The dedication was attended by Chief of Government of Buenos Aires, Fernando de la Rua in 1996. Not long after its installation the taps were vandalized and had to be rebuilt. The repair was sponsored by La Recova de Posadas, a local business.

The base of the fountain is a circular plinth which doubles as a drainage system. Four circular basins on pedestals surround the central column, and a small trough for dogs is located at ground level. The central column expands into the shape of an urn with four spigots, each surmounted by Barcelona’s coat of arms. An attic base supports a fluted roof from which rises a highly decorated column with four brackets supporting glass lanterns with crown finials. The apex of the structure resembles a pine cone. A plaque resting against the octagonal stone plinth states:

This fountain, a replica of the historic Font des Canaletes located on the Rambla de Canaletes in Barcelona, was donated to the city of Buenos Aires by the city of Barcelona and the joint partnership of Barcelona Water Company and Argentina Water.

Glossary

  • Attic base, A column base with two rings
  • Finial, A sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Plinth, Flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.
  • Spigot, A device that controls the flow of liquid from a container

 

Image Sources

https://www.flickr.com/photos/wallyg/7884668108/

http://bienvenuevoyageur.blogspot.ca/2011/11/font-de-canaletes-buenos-aires.html

 

 

Sidney Fountain

Location: Stafford, Staffordshire, England

A fountain was erected on Gaol Square in 1889 in memory of Thomas Sidney who was born in a house on the Square in 1805. It was donated by his wife to honour her husband who became Lord Mayor of London, 1853 – 1854.

The drinking fountain, casting number 19, was manufactured by Wm. MacFarlane’s Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, Scotland, and sat on a two tiered circular plinth. It had a wide base in the form of a St. Andrew’s cross, on which was set a circular shaft, ornamented with water lilies. Four troughs for dogs were set between four lion jambs that supported four highly decorated quatrefoil basins. Horses also drank from the elevated basins. The stanchion and central column were decorated with floral relief, swans and cranes. A dedication shield was mounted on the central column. A kylix-shaped vase terminal with four projecting tendrils offered drinking cups suspended by chains. The fluted central column with two decorated brackets supported two lamps.

The statue of Samson was replaced within two decades and is currently part of the Staffordshire Museum collections. The central column was extended and a third lamp was erected at the apex. In 1916 the third lamp was removed, the column shortened and a clock with four faces installed. It was presented by George Bruckshaw to celebrate fifty years of residence in Stafford.

Unfortunately this fountain is no longer in existence. The fountain was destroyed by a motor vehicle in 1928. The clock was restored and mounted on a single post with four lamp globes facing compass directions. Although no vestige of the drinking fountain remained the clock was located near to the original location of Samson.

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

Glossary

  • Kylix, a grecian style drinking cup
  • 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, upright bar or post providing support
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

Image Sources

Image produced from the Staffordshire Past Track service www.staffspasttrack.org.uk

With permission of Landmark Information Group Ltd. http://www.landmark-information.co.uk

And Ordnance Survey http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk

Staffordshire Arts & Museum Service

Stafford Historical and Civic Society

Newcastle Borough Museum and Art Gallery

 

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