Queen Victoria Jubilee Fountain

Location: Palmyra Square Conservation Area, Warrington, Cheshire, England

The fountain in Queens Gardens was erected in 1898 in joint commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of Warrington Borough Council and Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897. It was donated by a local businessman named Robert Garnett.

Casting number 8 from Walter 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.

Rope moulded roundels contained within the lunettes host the images of a crane, and a bust of Queen Victoria. On all sides provision was made for receiving an inscription using raised metal letters; three sides display 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.

Originally there was a drinking fountain beneath the canopy. The font (casting number 7) was 5 foot 8 inches high. A single pedestal with four decorative columns rose from an octagonal base. Four salamanders descended the pedestal as a symbol of courage and bravery. The basin had a scalloped edge and decorative relief. A central urn with four projecting tendrils offered drinking cups suspended by chains. The terminal was a crane.

Casting #7

Casting #7

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 structure on 4 April 1975.

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Glossary

  • Capital: The top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • 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
  • Roundel, a small circular decorative plate
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

 

Diamond Jubilee Fountain

Location: Stranraer, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland

The cast iron drinking fountain erected in 1897 for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee originally stood outside the Old Town Hall in George Street. It was moved several times within George Street when it became an obstacle to traffic, and was demolished when a car reversed into it.

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It was reconstructed and restored by a local craftsman, and erected on a pedestrian area beside St John’s Castle on Charlotte Street opposite Logan’s Close. At one time seated on a two tiered square plinth it now sits on a three tiered circular plinth.

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Casting number 8 from Walter MacFarlane’s catalogue consists of four columns, from the capitals of which consoles with griffin terminals unite with arches formed of decorated mouldings. Rope moulded roundels contained within each lunette host the bust of Queen Victoria, in profile, on the north elevation; the burgh arms (a ship with three sails, and the motto Tutissima Statio meaning safest harbour) on the south elevation; and the east and west elevations contain a dedication Erected / By The / Town Council / In Commemoration Of / Queen Victoria’s / Record Reign / 1897.

On each side provision was made for receiving an inscription using raised metal letters; on the east and west sides is 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 7) 5 foot 8 inches high. The basin which has a scalloped edge and decorative relief is 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 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.

The structure was listed a Category C historic building on 30 March 1998.

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
  • 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
  • Roundel, a small circular decorative plate
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

 

Esther McNeill Fountain

Location: Fredonia, NYS, USA

Attached to this memorial drinking fountain, at the southwest corner of the park next to the information booth, is a dedication plaque: Esther McNeill / Crusader / 1873 / Erected By / Fredonia W.C.T.U. / 1912.

Esther McNeill was the first president of the first chapter of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union established in 1873. During her 17 years of service she played an integral part in the introduction of a law guaranteeing that the effects of alcohol would be taught in schools. She died in 1906 at the age of 95. Held in high esteem, the fountain was dedicated to her memory on June 13, 1913 in Fredonia’s Barker Commons.

The structure consists of a square central column seated on a square plinth with attic base. Receptacles on three sides consist of two small basins supported by consoles and a third demi-lune basin. A garland frieze sits beneath the capital which supports a lamp in the form of an Olympic torch with acanthus relief. A framework of bands and Corinthian columns terminates in four finials to create the form of a crown.

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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
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Corinthian Column, a fluted shaft with flowers and leaves at the capital.
  • Demilune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.

 

Alderman Hawkins Fountain

Location: Wallingford, Oxfordshire, England

In 1885 this drinking fountain was presented by Alderman Hawkins of Field and Hawkins, a prominent draper’s shop which stood on the north side of the Market Place. It was relocated from the Market Place after being damaged by a lorry to the Bull Croft Park, a 19 acre meadow in the north west of the town. The Market Place was eventually turned into a pedestrian precinct, and the fountain was returned to its original location in 1979.

Casting number 8 from Walter MacFarlane’s catalogue is 9 feet 6 inches high. The structure, seated on a square plinth, 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, the town crest, a dedication shield, Presented / By / Alderman / Hawkins / 1885. 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 7) 5 foot 8 inches high. The basin which has a scalloped edge and decorative relief is 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 offer drinking cups suspended by chains. The terminal is a crane.

A plaque has been placed at the base, This Drinking Fountain Originally Sited In The / Market Place In 1885, But Later Removed To The / Bull Croft, Was Returned In August 1979.

 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 structure was recorded as a Grade II listed building on 9 February 1988.

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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
  • 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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