Alexandra Parade Fountain

The 40 foot cast iron fountain, built by Walter Macfarlane’s Saracen Foundry, located within Alexandra Park in the east end of Glasgow is not a drinking fountain and therefore will not be detailed here.

Instead we will focus on the cast iron drinking fountain at the entrance gates of Alexandra Park. It was erected circa 1880 and has been attributed to Cruickshank & Co., although it would appear to be an exact replica of the Sun Foundry’s drinking fountain number 3.

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

The dome with a vase obelisk finial covers the fluted pedestal and wide basin containing a putto holding an oar, seated on an upturned urn.

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 lunettes contains the Coat of Arms for the City of Glasgow.

The fountain was recorded as a category B historic listed building 17 June 1992.

Glossary

  • 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
  • Obelisk, a tall, four-sided, narrow tapering monument which ends in a pyramid-like shape at the top Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.
  • Putto (plural is Putti), a figure in a work of art depicted as a chubby male child, usually nude

 

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