Rebekah Foord Memorial Fountain

Location: Strood, Kent, England

A memorial drinking fountain was unveiled on Coronation Day, 28 June 1864, on the Rochester Esplanade to commemorate the life of Mrs. Foord, a benefactor of the poor. It was funded by public subscription and remained on the Esplanade until 1906 when it was relocated to Rochester Castle Gardens. In 1912 it was transported to the Recreation Ground, Northcote Road in Strood where it remained until 1930. Its current whereabouts is unknown.

An article in the Chatham News described the celebration of the opening of the fountain and ended with a poem;
Rebekah’s Fountain
Behold! a humble monument, we lift
To acts of one , to whom fond mem’ry leans;
A Font of flowing water: ‘tis the gift
Of God; t’obtain which man but finds the means.

Drinking fountain number 8 from Walter Macfarlane & Co.’s catalogue was manufactured at the Saracen Foundry at Possilpark in Glasgow. The structure was 9 feet 6 inches high and consisted of four columns, from the capitals of which consoles with griffin terminals united with arches formed of decorated mouldings.

Rope moulded cartouches within each lunette hosted the city and arms of Rochester and the Foord family, 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.’ An inscription read; This Drinking Fountain Is Erected By Voluntary Contributions In Grateful Remembrance Of Mrs. Rebekah Foord Of This City Who During Her Life Was Foremost In All Works Of Usefulness And Kindness To The Poor. A.D. 1864 .

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 was surmounted by an open filigree dome, the finial being a crown with a pattée cross.

Under the canopy stood the font (design number 7) 5 foot 8 inches high. The terminal was a crane. The basin (2 feet 6 inches in diameter) which had a scalloped edge and decorative relief was supported by a single decorative pedestal with four pilasters and four descending salamanders, a symbol of courage and bravery. A central urn with four consoles offered drinking cups suspended by chains. The fountain was operated by pressing a button.

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
  • 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
  • Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
  • Pattée cross, a cross with arms that narrow at the centre and flare out at the perimeter
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Pilaster, a column form that is only ornamental and not supporting a structure
  • 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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Clock Tower Fountain

Location: Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, Wales

In 1858 a tower was erected by public subscription to replace the Guildhall in the square at the top of Great Darkgate Street. A clock was installed courtesy of the noble family of Pryse of Gogerddan.

1905

Original clock tower circa 1905

The highly unpopular decision to demolish the original clock tower in 1957 was necessary due to safety concerns with the upper masonry. The current clock tower which was erected to celebrate the millennium bears no resemblance to the original design.

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A plaque in Welsh with English translation states;
This Clock Tower Was Inaugurated By Cllr D J Rowland Jones, Chairman Of Ceredigion City Council And Cllr Jaci Taylor Mayor Of Aberystwyth On 20th October 2000. Its Construction Was Funded By Ceredigion County Council And The Wales Tourist Board.

The drinking fountain at the base of the clock tower was donated in the mid-19th century by the Reverend John Williams who was a local Methodist minister and founder of the Band of Hope temperance group in Aberystwyth. They met in the Tabernacl Chapel and processed around the Town Clock.

 

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The original drinking fountain has been incorporated into the south face of the current tower. The central area where the font was located now hosts a plaque in Welsh with English translation; This Casting Surrounded The Drinking Fountain On The Original Clock Tower And Was Donated By The Rev. John Williams (1826-1898) Of Tabernacl, An Ardent Advocate Of Total Abstinence And Founder Of Band Of Hope Aberystwyth.

Coalbrookdale_Jesus Samaria

The fountain was designed by brothers William and Thomas Wills, sculptors best known for their designs of drinking fountains. Their cast iron fountain designs were manufactured by the Coalbrookdale Co. Limited.

The cast iron frame is in the form of a stylized shield with curved edges. The top part of the shield forms a lunette of a winged cherub resting upon clouds. Beneath the cherub was a recessed arch which contained the font.

Each side of the arch is decorated with flowers and ivy tendrils. On the left side is a seated figure of Jesus Christ pointing with his left hand to the engraved verses 13 and 14 of St John’s Gospel, Chapter IV. Jesus Said / Whosoever Drinketh Of This Water Shall / Thirst Again But Whosoever Drinketh Of / The Water That I Shall Give Him Shall /Never Thirst. But The Water That I Shall / Give Him Shall Be In Him. A Well Of Water / Springing Up Into Everlasting Life / John IV. 13. 14.

On the right is a seated figure of the Woman of Samaria with her right hand resting on her cheek and her left hand on a tall urn. The vignette is a pictorial scene of Jesus meeting the Woman of Samaria at Jacob’s well.

Glossary

  • Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
  • Vignette, portrayal of an episode

Corowa Drinking Fountain

Location: Corowa, New South Wales, Australia

On 12 April 1907, a drinking fountain was purchased by Mayor Alexander Augustus Piggin at his own expense while at a conference in Sydney. The fountain was donated to the town to celebrate Corowa’s new water supply which was officially opened on 18th May 1907. It was located at the corner of Sanger Street and Deniliquin Road outside the Commercial Bank property.

The following year in December 1908 the fountain’s drinking cups were removed by children, and the police were notified of the vandalism. In 1922 the drinking fountain was moved to the kerb outside the Municipal Council Offices to facilitate the erection of a war memorial. The memorial incorporating a clock tower which became known as the Soldier’s Memorial was unveiled on 10 September 1922 to commemorate those who died in service during the two World Wars.

The fountain was again relocated in 1938 to the children’s playground at R. T. Ball Park. This move may have been initiated due to the 1937 sewerage scheme and the 1938 Main Roads maintenance programme.

The fountain is currently located at the entrance to the RT Ball Park Caravan Park although in a state of disrepair. The crane terminal missing from the structure resides in the Federation Museum. Also on display at the museum is a wooden water pipe used for the town water supply in the late 1800’s; it is made with two or more pieces of wood bound together with wire.

water pipe

Design number 7 standing 5ft 8ins from Walter Macfarlane’s catalogue was manufactured by the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow. It was seated on an octagonal base inscribed with the following legend; Presented By The Mayor / Alderman A A Piggin / At The Opening Of The Corowa / Water Supply On 18th May 1907

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Circa 1908

The drinking fountain features a single pedestal basin with four pilasters rising from an octagonal plinth. Four salamanders descend the fountain pedestal as a symbol of courage and bravery.

The basin, 2ft 6 ins in diameter, has a scalloped edge and decorative relief. The interior surface is engraved, and a sculptured urn is terminated by the figure of a crane, a symbol of vigilance. Four elaborate consoles once supported drinking cups on chains. Water flowed from a spout into the drinking cup by pressing its edge against a projecting stud below the spout. The self-closing valve allowed for operation with only one hand.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Salamanders represent bravery and courage that cannot be extinguished by fire, and cranes are recognized as a symbol of vigilance.

Glossary:

  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Pilaster, a column form that is only ornamental and not supporting a structure
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

 


Newtown Square Fountain

Location: Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada

A branch of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (W.C.T.U.) which was formed in Lunenburg in 1890 advocated moderation in alcohol consumption and a concern for animal welfare. The society’s ‘Kindness to Animals’ movement was activated by the junior branch of the W.C.T.U. to alleviate the thirst of oxen and horses that stood for hours in the market place after pulling heavy loads of wood and produce into the town.

A proposal by the society to erect a drinking fountain with ox-troughs at the intersection of Falkland and Lincoln Streets was accepted. The fountain was presented to the town in 1911, and accepted by Mayor J. J. Kinley on behalf of the citizens.

Temperance Fountain  /This Fountain Was Presented In 1911 By The / Women’s Christian Temperance Union Of Lunenburg / To Quench The Thirst Of The Customer / And Their Horses And Oxen / At The Nearby Marketplace. / The Fountain Flowed For More Than 30 Years / Until Traffic Patterns Changed / Dedicated October 1911 By Mayor J. J. Kinley / Rededicated October 1995 By Mayor D. L. Mawhinney / A Project Of The Lunenburg Heritage Society

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The manufacturer of the cast iron fountain is unknown although the crane sculpture was frequently used by J. L. Mott Iron Works of New York.

The original design consisted of a square pedestal base to support the structure. On each side a panel is decorated with bas-relief with a large trough for animals on two sides. The base, which is missing in this example, may have been removed or buried; hence the reason the troughs are at ground level.

The capital supports a circular pillar with attic base and lion head mascarons on four sides which spouted water into the troughs. Drinking cups suspended on chains allowed humans to drink from the flowing water.

A dedication plaque is secured to the east side. A sculpture of cranes standing amongst water reeds sits beneath the lamp post.

Glossary:

  • Bas-relief, sculpted material that has been raised from the background to create a slight projection from the surface
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue

 


Arthur Itter Memorial Fountain

Location: Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, England

Itter Memorial Park and the drinking fountain located just inside the park were donated to commemorate the life of businessman and philanthropist Arthur Itter, M.A. B.COM. During his lifetime he was a brick manufacturer, a member of the Council of the Baptist Union of Great Britain and Ireland, and Mayor of the City of Peterborough.

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In 1933 at age 35 years, he became Mayor Elect of the City of Peterborough. He holds two records; the youngest Mayor ever to be elected; and the shortest term of a Peterborough Mayor. He died following a sudden illness on 26th December 1934 after only being in office for two months.

This octagonal shaped drinking fountain seated on a two tiered circular plinth is design #14 manufactured by George Smith & Co., Sun Foundry, Glasgow. The ogee shaped base and acroter support a single pillar with attic base and inset arched panels. Entablature with bolt consoles sit beneath an ogee cupola. The structure is surmounted with an orb finial.

Originally, cups suspended on chains above the two demi-lune basins offered water to humans, and a trough at ground level supplied smaller animals. A dedication marker is inscribed with the following legend:

This Drinking Fountain Was Erected By / The Mayor, Aldermen And Citizens Of / The City Of Peterborough As A Memorial / To Arthur Itter M.A. B.Com Who Was A Member / Of The City Council From the 26th March / 1929 to the 26th of December 1935. And Died / During His Year Of Office As Mayor Of The / City On The 26th December 1935.

Note that the dates on the plaque are incorrect. Arthur Itter died in 1934. The park was donated by his family in 1935.

Glossary

  • Acroter, flat base
  • Attic base, a column base with two rings
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Cupola, a small, domed structure on top of a roof.
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Entablature, moldings and bands which lie horizontally above columns
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Ogee, curve with a concave

Paterson Memorial Clock

Location: Bridge of Allan, Stirlingshire, Scotland

The Memorial Clock and Drinking Fountain located on Henderson Street was erected in 1898 by public subscription to commemorate gratitude for Dr. Alexander Paterson’s service to the town.

Dr. Paterson was a doctor and Medical Officer of Health for the burgh in addition to being a Justice of the Peace. His realised dream of creating a health resort originated from his belief in the therapeutic waters in the area.

In June 1929, the two ton drinking fountain and clock was relocated a few yards west to allow for road widening. The structure was fitted with electricity in 1930.

Restoration of the structure was undertaken in 2009 with a fresh coat of green paint and gold leaf. The clock was refurbished by James Ritchie and Sons, Clockmakers.

Manufactured at the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow drinking fountain number 231 from Walter Macfarlane’s catalogue stands 20 feet high. Originally seated on a double tiered square plinth, the square pedestal with Egyptian patterned frieze, designed by Alexander ‘Greek” Thomson, offers a demi-lune basin. A spigot within the geometric pattern released water into the basin, and a drinking cup attached to a chain was suspended from a decorative console.

The griffin feet capitals support a four sided central stanchion heavily decorated with palmette and acanthus relief on three sides. The fourth side contains an engraved dedication; The Paterson Memorial / Erected By The Inhabitants Of Bridge Of Allan / And Others In Memory Of The Late / Dr. Alexander Paterson / Who Practised In This District For Upwards Of 50 Years / And Who Was Medical Officer Of Health For The Burgh / He Was Held In Universal Esteem / Being A Skilful Physician And A Kind Friend / 1898.

A fluted column with attic base arises from a highly decorated acroter. The structure is capped with a clock face on four sides.

Glossary

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • 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
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Fluted, a long rounded groove decorating the shaft of a column
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Griffin, winged lion denotes vigilance and strength, guards treasure and priceless possessions
  • Palmette, a decorative motif resembling the fan shaped leaves of a palm tree
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.
  • Spigot, a device that controls the flow of water (tap)
  • Stanchion, an upright bar or post providing support

Queen Street Drinking Fountain

Location: Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada

To commemorate the centenary of the founding of the Province of Upper Canada, a cast iron drinking fountain was unveiled on Queen Street outside the Niagara Court House on July 16, 1892.

A large underground cistern beneath the drinking fountain supplied water for fire-fighting in the mid 19th century.

The fountain consists of a rectangular pedestal with a square chamfered base decorated with a form of egg and dart frieze. A panel on all four sides contains the stylized pattern of a flower. Beneath the cornice facing the sidewalk is a metal dedication plaque; Erected 1892 / In Commemoration Of The Founding / Of The Province Of Upper / Canada July 16 1792.  The side facing the street offers a small basin for dogs. The capital supports a small fluted basin currently operated with a bubbler type tap.

Glossary:

  • Bubbler, a fountain with a tap which ejects a stream of water
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Chamfer, a beveled edge
  • Cornice, a molding or ornamentation that projects from the top of a building
  • Egg and dart, a carving of alternating oval shapes and dart or arrow shapes
  • Fluted, a long rounded groove
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue