Links Place Fountain

Location: Burnt Island, Fife, Scotland

The drinking fountain located at Kinghorn Road, Links Place is number 3 in the George Smith & Co. catalogue. Four columns with obelisk finials rise from a circular 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 for dedication or crests. One of these four medallions bears the Burntisland coat of arms.

The canopy covers a fluted pedestal and wide basin containing a putto holding an oar, seated on an upturned urn (casting number 8). At the rear of the pedestal is housed a small basin at ground level for animals. The dome’s apex has a customized finial. Damage to the original finial can be seen when comparing the two photographs.

The fountain was gifted to the town by James Taylor of Starley Hall, a merchant of Leith, in recognition of the kindness extended to him by the town council.  Date of erection is unknown. On 31 March 1995 it was listed a category C historic building.

Glossary

  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Fret, running or repeated ornament
  • Putto (plural is Putti), a figure in a work of art depicted as a chubby male child, usually nude
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
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