Thank you for visiting my blog.  As of 2019 the database is approaching 400 posts identifying cast iron drinking fountains located around the world. To search for a specific item use the Search Box by entering a relevant detail e.g. city, memorial name, etc. The blog can also be searched using the Category Box which offers a search by country, foundry, historic registers, etc.

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Market Street Drinking Fountain

Location: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA

The drinking fountain for humans and horses was located outside the old Dauphin County Courthouse at the intersection of Court Street and Market Street. The large trough facing the street offered relief to thirsty horses which pulled horse drawn trolleys.

The first known public transportation in Harrisburg began in 1865 with a horse drawn trolley that was said to be purchased used from Philadelphia. In 1873 the Horse-Drawn Passenger Railway Company opened, but the advent of the motor vehicle rendered these vehicles redundant by the turn of the century.

The Harrisburg Telegraph reported in 1902 that “The court house fountain is again without a drinking cup. There were a number of parched throats at the fountain to-day, but nothing to drink from.”

Photographs of the area circa 1932 reveal that the drinking fountain was no longer in situ; and the court house itself was demolished in 1948.

The 9 feet high cast iron drinking fountain consisting of a square pedestal surmounted by a statue was manufactured by J. W. Fiske Iron Works and registered as design #209.

A highly decorated square base at ground level with egg and tongue moulding contained a small trough for dogs on three sides surmounted by a sculptured dog kennel. Four short pilasters flanked panels decorated with rosettes.

A dog toothed acroter supported four rectangular panels with bas-relief and rosette frieze. These inset panels displaying two swans with raised wings resting on an orb from which rose Neptune’s trident were flanked by stylized flowers and bulrushes. The back side of the structure contained a small demi-lune basin for humans decorated with large leaf pattern on the underside. A wide and deep trough decorated with acanthus was available for the use of horses. A dolphin mascaron released water from its mouth into the horse trough.

A multi-tiered acroter supporting a 36″ tall statue of a woman feeding a dove is identified as Girl Feeding Bird #226. A bird perches on her right wrist as she gathers a tunic at her left hip with her left hand creating a pouch containing seeds. Her head is tilted slightly back and she holds a seed in her mouth. The sculpture is attributed to bronze founder, George Fischer.

babylon village blogspot 4

Similar fountain design in Ligonier, PA

Glossary:

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Acroter, flat base
  • Bas-relief, sculpted material that has been raised from the background to create a slight projection from the surface
  • Chamfer, a beveled edge
  • Cornice, a molding or ornamentation that projects from the top of a building
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Dog tooth, pyramid shaped carving
  • Egg and dart, a carving of alternating oval shapes and dart or arrow shapes
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal
  • Pilaster, a column form that is only ornamental and not supporting a structure
  • Rosette, a round stylized flower design

Gloucester Docks Drinking Fountain

Location: Gloucester, England

An unusual drinking fountain located at the north gate of Gloucester Docks was installed by the Gloucester City Board of Health at the bequest of merchants on behalf of their workers. Installed in 1863 this water supply was also used to fill ships’ water casks.

A stuccoed arch with bull nosed moulding adhered to the brick wall serves as a mount for the cast iron drinking fountain consisting of two pieces. A cast iron back-plate with Roman arch has an inscription on the trough at street level, Gloucester Local Board Of Health 1863. A small hydrant to the right is mounted off the ground. There is no visible tap or marking to identify the manufacturer of this structure.

It was recorded as a Grade II listing by Historic England on 15 December 1998. Gloucester City Council and Gloucester Civic Trust assisted in the restoration of the historic inscription.

Glossary:

  • Bull nose, a shaping pattern applied usually to the header edge of a brick or paver
  • Roman arch, a semi-circular curved structure
  • Stucco, a dense solid material used as a decorative coating for walls and ceilings to cover less visually appealing construction materials

Spittal’s Lost Drinking Fountain

Location: Spittal, Berwick, Northumberland, England

The town’s name derives from a shortened form of the word, hospital. A hospital dedicated to St Bartholomew, was built in the 13th century to take care of lepers.

St John’s parish church was built in 1867 on Main Street. The cast iron drinking fountain seated on a three tier square plinth was once located at the corner of Main Street and Sea Road not far from the church.

Design number 4 standing 4 feet 9 inches high from Walter Macfarlane’s catalogue was manufactured by the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow featuring a single pedestal with decorative bands seated on an octagonal base. Rising from the etched basin was a bulbous form supporting a pointed finial and two consoles from which metal cups were suspended on chains.

Saracen #4

Little is known in regard to the installation and subsequent removal of this ‘lost’ fountain.

Glossary:

  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests

Ram’s Head Drinking Fountain

Location: Stirling, Scotland

Four small pillar type drinking fountains located around the perimeter of King’s Park were restored in 2009 by Ballantine’s Iron Company at Bo’ness with a grant from Sterling City Heritage Trust and additional funding from Stirling Council Common Good Fund.

The fountains are located at the corner of Albert Place and at the side gate entrance to the park on Queen’s Road where a heritage interpretation panel explains the historic importance of the wells. The remaining two fountains are on Park Avenue (the example at the southern end of the Avenue was previously located on King’s Park Road).

These four drinking fountains were designed and manufactured by Glenfield & Kennedy Ltd. This late 19th century design was advertised as Kennedy’s patent, self-closing, anti-freezing pillar fountain. It consists of a fluted cast iron cylindrical column with moulded domed cap and small finial resembling a pineapple.

Water was drawn from a well by a wind pump and delivered by gravity from a reservoir. The water which was released by turning a decorative knob was located directly above a mascaron spout. It was captured in a tin cup suspended on a chain from the domed top. A small demi-lune trough at ground level captured overflow water for the use of dogs. Some models used a lever on the side to release the water and had an integral bucket platform located just above the base of the column. The fountains are stamped, Glenfield Coy Limited Kilmarnock.

The mascaron from which the water spouted was more commonly the head of a lion. However, the fountains at Albert Place and Queen’s Road sport ram’s heads. The example at the Queen’s Road park entrance is a category C listed Historic building. These fountains ceased to be operational after the 1980 Water (Scotland) Act.

An additional example of the ram’s head model is located at Carradale on the east side of Kintyre, Scotland.

JPB_carradale

Used with permission, John P. Bolton, Scottish Ironwork Foundation

Glossary:

  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Fluted, a long rounded groove
  • Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal

St. John’s Drinking Fountain & Lamp

Location: Dunoon, Argyll, Scotland

This cast iron drinking fountain with lamp was presented to the town in 1899 by David Doig (a past master of Dunoon Masonic Lodge 1879-1882 & 1890-1894). It is located in Hanover Street Gardens adjacent to St. John’s Church.

The fountain is design #31 from the catalogue of Walter Macfarlane’s Saracen Foundry in Glasgow. Seated on a two tier circular stone plinth, the wide base is in the form of a St. Andrew’s cross with four lion jambs supporting four elaborately decorated quatrefoil basins for horses. The stanchion is decorated with bands of acanthus and alternating panels of cranes and swans.

Four consoles which protrude from a circular fluted shaft to suspend drinking cups on chains are unique and differ from the standard issue. The structure is surmounted with a round lamp.

Plans to repair and restore the drinking fountain were initiated in 2016.

Glossary:

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Fluted Shaft, a long rounded groove decorating the shaft of a column
  • 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

Saracen Wall Fountains

Wall fountains not surprisingly required a supporting wall. These decorative drinking fountains were set into the wall to form unobtrusive niches – a design that was very popular on railway station platforms. Although they provided a necessary service in a period of history when clean drinking water was not readily accessible, there generally appeared to be so little commotion at the erection of these structures that their individual history has been lost. The Saracen Foundry owned by Walter Macfarlane & Co. offered several models.

Casting number 15 (2ft. 9ins. x 1ft. 9ins.) is a wall mounted drinking fountain with a fluted demi-lune basin and egg and dart rim. An arch faceplate bears the inscription Keep the Pavement Dry. The interior of the arch contains a shell lunette from which a tap protrudes. Two doves represent the symbolism of the spirit drinking from the water of life. A single drinking cup on a chain is suspended on a decorative console.

Examples of this model located in Bridgnorth, England; Clevedon, England; and Shanklin, Isle of Wight have previously been posted.

Casting #16 (3 ft. 3 ins. high and 2 ft. 7 ins. wide) is a wall mounted drinking fountain in the form of a round arch trimmed with highly decorated fret detail and rope moulding. The recessed interior of the arch contains a shell lunette with a tap which issued water into a fluted demi-lune basin. The fountain is surmounted with a palmette finial and a ring from which a single drinking cup was suspended on a chain. See previous posts: Innerwick and Peebles in Scotland, and Ramsey, England.

The example below located at Dumfries Railway Station on the northbound platform is functional. A second example on the southbound platform has no tap. The station and all parts thereof are a category B listing as designated by Historic Environment Scotland.

The model below is an  extended version of Design No. 16 with a ground drainage basin. An inscription in raised letters is located above the tap; Thank God From Whom All Blessings Flow.

16-Creetown

CREETOWN, DUMFRIES & GALLOWAY, SCOTLAND. Used with permission, John P. Bolton, Scottish Ironwork Foundation. Source: https://ironworks.scran.ac.uk/database/record.php?usi=000-002-001-058-C&scache=4ljc4ahiul&searchdb=ironworks_scran

Casting number 17 from Walter Macfarlane’s catalogue has already been blogged. See Saracen 17 Wall fountains identifying models in Colchester, Falstone and Milford Haven in England; Penarth and Portcawl in Wales; and Rathdrum, Ireland.

Saracen #17

Casting #9 is a small drinking fountain measuring less than 2ft. wide and 2ft. high. It has a plain backplate devoid of decoration in the form of a shield. A spigot emerges from an embellishment in the shape of a diamond with dog tooth frieze. A drinking cup was originally attached to a chain, and run off water was captured in a plain demi lune basin.

This example is located in Gigha, Argyll & Bute, Scotland opposite the post office and is in an advanced state of rust. It is situated almost at ground level on a stone wall, adjacent to entrance gates to the Gigha Church of Scotland.

Casting #5 is a 4ft. tall cast iron plate. The drinking fountain on the wall of the Guardbridge Hotel (previously the station house) bids you to Keep The Pavement Dry. An arch shape with quatrefoil bas relief displays the acronym for North British Railway, NBR. A spigot protruding from the same point furnished water into a single drinking cup on a chain suspended from a decorative console (no longer present in these images). A decorative flourish is applied as an enrichment. The example at Leuchars Railway Station no longer exists.

An example of modification to design No 5 is located on the boundary wall at the current Social Services Department (formerly Abbotshall Primary School). It was recorded as a C listing on Historic Environment Scotland on 27 February 1997.

Glossary:

    • Bas-relief, sculpted material that has been raised from the background to create a slight projection from the surface
    • Console, a decorative bracket support element
    • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
    • Dog tooth frieze, pyramid shaped carving
    • Egg and dart, a carving of alternating oval shapes and dart or arrow shapes
    • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
    • Fluted, a long rounded groove
    • Fret, running or repeated ornament
    • Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
    • 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
    • Spigot, a device that controls the flow of liquid

     


Henrietta Fountain

Location: Girvan, Ayrshire, Scotland

The corner of Stair Park on Henrietta Street once hosted an attractive drinking fountain surmounted by a female statue.

The fountain, erected on a large four tier plinth, was design number 19 from the catalogue of Walter Macfarlane & Co. 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. Symbolism was popular in Victorian times; lions are symbolic of guardianship.

The stanchion and central column were decorated with floral relief. Four consoles protruded from the column to suspend drinking cups on chains. The capital supported the finial, a statue of a female figure holding a leaf above her head.

Unfortunately the drinking fountain and its history are lost.

Glossary

  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • 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