This drinking fountain, like so many others of the period, is a testament to the Temperance Movement that advocated the restriction of alcoholic drinks. It was created by the Britannia Ironworks of Andrew Handyside in Derby, England. The design was ordered from a catalogue, design number 48 on page 40 of the 1879 publication.
The cylindrical structure with attic base is seated on a triple circular plinth and surrounded by four Corinthian columns. The highly decorative volutes support a cupola with Neptune frieze and a cornice with leaf detail. The finial is a putto holding an urn on his shoulder and at the apex is a lamp. The font is an unusual form resembling a capped urn with lion masks spouting water.
The fountain was presented to the town of Geelong by Mayor G. F. Belcher at the end of his term in 1874 and was located at the junction of Malop Street and Gheringhap Street in Geelong, Victoria, Australia. After the introduction of trams, it was relocated to Johnstone Park, and then returned to its original site after the tram line closed in 1956.
In 1974 it was rededicated to celebrate the centenary of the Fountain; and was restored as part of Geelong’s sesquicentenary (150 years) foundation celebrations in 1988.
The Belcher Drinking Fountain is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register Number H1116. The Register lists places of cultural heritage significance to the State of Victoria, and provides legal protection against demolition or other alterations to listed sites.
- Attic base, A column base with two rings
- Cornice, A molding or ornamentation that projects from the top of a building
- Cupola, A small, domed structure on top of a roof
- Finial, A sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
- Frieze, The horizontal part of a classical entablature just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
- Putto, A figure in a work of art depicted as a chubby male child, usually nude
- Volute, a spiral scroll-like ornament found in the capital of a column