Berkeley Memorial Fountain

Location: Basseterre, St. Kitts

This memorial was erected in 1883 to commemorate Thomas Berkeley Hardtman Berkeley, an Estate Owner, a Politician and a Citizen of Basseterre. The clock drinking fountain is located in the Circus which is a replica of Piccadilly Circus in London, England.

Drinking fountain number 1 manufactured by the Sun Foundry in Glasgow, Scotland, consists of a modified octagonal base (forming the shape of cross) containing a basin within each of the four recesses.

The structure which has changed colour over the years (red, brown, green) is seated on a circular plinth. It consists of a single rectangular column divided into 5 levels using acroteria and cornices. The upper levels are supported by four columns with lamp finials.

Arches offer space for memorial inscriptions and originally had lunettes with a barometer and thermometer. A shield is displayed on the north side and the Sun Foundry manufacturer’s mark is stamped on the base. On the south side is a basin with tap and an inscription which reads: This drinking fountain has been erected by the country men and private friends of the late Thomas Berkeley Hardtman Berkeley, Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George and president of the Legislative Council of the Leeward Islands, in recognition of the many valuable services he rendered this his Native Island as a Planter, a Politician and a Citizen. His Sterling qualities, his love for this Island and his deep interest in the welfare of the country at large entitle him to a Memorial by which his memory will be preserved and perpetuated. Born 14th January 1824. Died 6th December, 1881.

In the upper tiers there is a crest or coat of arms, and a clock face points in each compass direction to a street leading off the Circus. A weather vane surmounts a four tiered acroteria at the apex.

The 100th birthday of the Berkley Memorial was celebrated in 1983, the same year that St. Kitts gained its Independence.

Glossary

  • Acroteria, an ornament placed on a flat base and mounted at the apex of the pediment
  • Cornice, a molding or ornamentation that projects from the top of a building
  • Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
  • Finial, A sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Plinth, Flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: