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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Pettigo Pillar Fountain

Location: Pettigo, County Donegal, Ireland

Common to most Irish towns this model was manufactured by Glenfield and Kennedy of Kilmarnock. Found to be in disrepair in 2019, local man Gary Britton was motivated to establish a ‘Go Fund Me’ page to restore this historic drinking fountain on Mill Street originally installed in the late 19th century. The goal was quickly attained by public subscriptions.

Following permission from Donegal County Council for the removal of the structure, the missing dome and finial was located by Michael Boyle, and a replacement octagonal rim knob was purchased from Ironmongery World. The fountain was coated with a rust convertor prior to spraying the finished coat.

Images captured from

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 drawn from a well by a wind pump and delivered by gravity from a reservoir, was distributed via a lion mascaron spout and captured in a tin cup suspended on a chain from the domed top.


  • 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

Michigan Theater Fountain

Location: Ann Arbor, MI

On January 5, 1928 the Michigan Theater, described as a shrine to art, opened on East Liberty Street. Designed by Maurice H. Finkel of Detroit, it had a seating capacity of 2000. The lease to operate the theater was not renewed in 1979. However, a fund raising campaign saved the theatre and it was restored in 1985.

A bronze drinking fountain originally located in the lobby (and an exact duplicate of those in New York’s famed Roxy Theater at West 50th Street) was discovered in a storage room in the basement of the theater.

It is an education guess that the fountain was manufactured by either J. L. Mott or J. W. Fiske both of New York, who were two of the most well-known and prolific foundries of the 19th century.

The fountain in the shape of an arch was decorated with foliate detailed fret. The canopy contained a recessed shell pattern and a grimacing stylized dolphin. A spigot protruding from the mouth delivered water into a fluted demi-lune basin.


  • Demilune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Fluted, a long rounded groove decorating the shaft of a column
  • Foliate, decorated with leaves or leaf like motif
  • Fret, running or repeated ornament

Sister Sophie Chambon Memorial

Location: Larnaca, Cyprus

In front of the entrance to Saint Joseph’s Monastery in Michalaki Paridi Square, Larnaca, is a cast iron fountain in memory of sister Sophie Chambon.

In October 1844, four French nuns from the mission St Joseph de l’Apparition in Lyon, France, arrived in Larnaca to serve the sick and poor alongside Dr. Joseph-Irenee Foblant. Within two years, a girls’ school, the island’s first hospital, and the convent of St Joseph de l’Apparition were built. Cyprus was ravaged by typhoid, cholera and dysentery epidemics during the mid-19th century, and the original four nuns quickly fell victim to these outbreaks.

Sister Sophie Chambon provided medical care to more than 200,000 patients regardless of their religion, nationality and gender. Sophie, who was later canonised, was called the ‘Florence Nightingale’ of Cyprus. She died from exhaustion after 23 years of service in 1894.

Revered by the people of Larnaca, an appropriate memorial which offered clean drinking water was erected in the convent’s grounds in 1895.

Drinking fountain number 8 from Walter Macfarlane & Co.’s catalogue was manufactured at the Saracen Foundry at Possilpark in Glasgow. The structure 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.

The original design offered rope moulded cartouches within lunettes on each of the four sides of the structure. However, this fountain has only one memorial shield. The Latin phrase, Ad Piam Memoriam Sororis Sophiae Larnaca Hoc Erexit 1895 translates as Erected This To The Pious Memory Of Sister Sophie Of Larnaca in 1895. The structure is surmounted by an open filigree dome, the finial being a crown with a Latin cross.

Under the canopy stands the font (design number 7) 5 foot 8 inches high. The terminal is a crane. The basin (2 feet 6 inches in diameter) 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 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.


  • 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
  • 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
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Pilaster, a column form that is only ornamental and not supporting a structure
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

Lancaster Quay Drinking Fountain

Location: Cork City, Ireland

The city’s first reliable water supply was established in 1858 and by 1860 there were 100 fountains and fonts around the city. In an effort to persuade people to reject alcohol, Father Theobold Mathew, a Temperance advocate and founder of the Total Abstinence Society, was instrumental in the installation of drinking fountains to provide a reliable supply of water. Seven of these drinking fonts and four cattle troughs still exist although none are operational.

A drinking fountain which once refreshed people on the south-side of Washington Street was removed to its current location on Lancaster Quay. Estimated to date from 1850, it was recorded on the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage on 13 July 1995.

Set into the wall, the neglected cast iron fountain has deteriorated leaving little evidence of its original design. At the top is a recessed arch, which likely contained a decorative mascaron or spout. An ogee cornice sits above a panel with bas relief of a dolphin mascaron flanked by water lilies. The manufacturer is unknown.


  • Bas-relief, sculpted material that has been raised from the background to create a slight projection from the surface
  • Cornice, a molding or ornamentation that projects from the top of a building
  • Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal
  • Ogee, curve with a concave