Bainbridge Memorial Fountain

Location: Nenthead, Cumbria, England, and Middleton-in-Teesdale, Durham County, England

Interestingly, there are two drinking fountains dedicated to R. W. Bainbridge. The fountains are located 71 miles apart in Northern England;  near Nenthead, and at the Horse Market Town Centre in Middleton-in-Teesdale. They were manufactured by George Smith & Co.’s Sun Foundry of Glasgow (trademarks are visible on the shafts and pedestal in Middleton-in-Teesdale.)

Four columns with obelisk finials rise from a double plinth to support a domed canopy. The interior column connectors to the dome are adorned with descending alligators and leafy decoration. Alligators were considered a symbol of evil and were hung from the ceilings of cabinets as a reminder of the mortality of humanity.

Arch faceplates with drip fret detail offer a flat surface for inscriptions in raised metal letters; civic virtues such as temperance were extolled on many drinking fountains. Over each arch are commemorative panels.

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The fountain in Nenthead has a columnar cab stand font; whereas in Middleton-in-Teesdale, the font is a fluted pedestal with a wide basin containing a putto holding an oar, seated on an upturned urn. A tap is fitted to the urn and at the rear of the pedestal is housed a small basin at ground level for animals.

Commemorative panels over each arch contain inscriptions. In raised metal letters above each arch:  Erected By R W Bainbridge Esq. Of Middleton House.

The Middleton-in-Teesdale fountain was listed in 1966 as a grade II English Heritage Building.

Status 2016 – a metal hedgehog appears to have been attached to the tap. Photos used by permission, John P. Bolton, Scottish Ironwork Foundation.

Nenthead Bainbridge Memorial Drinking Fountain


Posted on July 31, 2013, in Architecture, Cast Iron, England, Memorial Drinking Fountain, Sun Foundry and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Thank you for the information. I think there is a typo in your description. Middleton and Nenthead may be 21 miles apart, not 71.

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