Monthly Archives: December 2013

Victoria Drinking Fountain

Location: Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin, Ireland

Located in the People’s Park on Marine Road it is known as the Victoria Fountain, erected to commemorate the visit of Queen Victoria to Dublin in 1900. She disembarked at the harbour in Kingstown (now renamed Dun Laoghaire.)

In 1981 the fountain was almost destroyed by the Republicans, but four years later it was restored to working order and illuminated. The following year the fountain was rededicated to mark the 70th anniversary of the 1916 Rising, and an inscribed stone paving slab was laid beside it.

The most current restoration of the fountain was completed using patterns from the original manufacturer which are owned by Heritage Engineering and Restoration. This Scottish firm recreated the cast iron filigree dome, and completed a paint analysis to discover the original colour of the structure. In the final stages of restoration, a water supply was provided and the structure was lit using fibre optics. The project, funded by the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company, was completed in 2002.

The canopied drinking fountain is design number 20, an elaborate 18 feet by 4 feet fountain, sold by Walter Macfarlane & Co, and manufactured at the Saracen Foundry, Possilpark, Glasgow, Scotland. Seated on a double octagonal plinth, the open filigree canopy is supported by eight columns with griffin terminals which are positioned over capitals with foliage frieze above square bases.

The highly decorated cusped arches are trimmed with rope mouldings. Cartouches contained within each lunette offer shields for memorial.

  • Inscription: Restored by Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company 2002
  • Inscription: Erected to commemorate the visit of Her Majesty Queen Victoria April 1900
  • Two shields display a crane standing on one leg
  • Two shields display a swan in water
  • One shield has an engraved head of Queen Victoria wearing a crown, and another shield with the head of a man wearing a crown.

On each side arch faceplates provide a flat surface for inscription using raised metal letters; often the useful monition, Keep the pavement dry. Civic virtues such as temperance were often extolled in inscriptions on drinking fountains.

Doves and flowers offer decorative relief on the circular, ribbed dome. The internal capitals contain flowers, statues of owls on enlarged column heads, and lion mascarons on internal shields. An imperial crown finial is at the apex.

Under the canopy stands the font (design number 18.) A circular shaft, ornamented with water lilies, rests on a wide base with canted corners. Four lion jambs support four highly decorated quatrefoil basins. Rising from the centre is a pyramid shaped stanchion decorated with swan and bird decoration. The terminal is a winged horse originally with four consoles that offered drinking cups suspended by chains.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Griffins are symbolic of guardians of priceless possessions; cranes are recognized as a symbol of vigilance, lions are symbolic of guardianship, owls are symbolic of guardians of the afterlife, and the winged horse’s connection with water derives from the myth that everywhere Pegasus struck his hoof to the earth, an inspiring spring burst forth.

Glossary

  • Canted corner, an angled surface which cuts of a corner
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Cartouche, a structure or figure, often in the shape of an oval shield or oblong scroll, used as an architectural or graphic ornament or to bear a design or inscription.
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Cusped Arch, the point of intersection of lobed or scalloped forms
  • Filigree, fine ornamental work
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Fret, running or repeated ornament
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Griffin, winged lion denotes vigilance and strength, guards treasure and priceless possessions
  • Imperial crown, a crown encrusted with jewels surmounted with a pattée cross
  • Jamb, a projecting vertical post containing sculpture
  • Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
  • Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests
  • Quatrefoil, a type of decorative framework consisting of a symmetrical shape which forms the overall outline of four partially-overlapping circles of the same diameter
  • Stanchion, upright bar or post providing support
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal
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Hudson Fountain

In 1905, in celebration of the Lion Foundry’s silver jubilee, a bandstand and drinking fountain, both made at the local Foundry, were gifted by Robert Hudson who was one of the original partners.

The drinking fountain located at Camphill Avenue, Peel Park, Kirkintilloch, East Dunbartonshire, Scotland was listed a category C historic building in 1979.

The original fountain (casting number 41) was 12 ft 8 ins high and originally stood on a square cast iron base with chamfered corners and grate for drainage. There were two small step stools to assist children in reaching the metal cups suspended on chains.

Self closing taps within lion masks spouted water into four basins which projected from the square column decorated with palmette and acanthus relief. A dedication shield is located in the cornice, Presented to the Burgh of Kirkintilloch by Ex-Bailie Hudson, Elleraybank, May 1905.

The capital supports a multi level acroter surmounted by the figure of a woman holding an olive branch in one hand and an urn on her head.

In planning for the renovation and restoration of Peel Park in 2002, the Victorian drinking fountain was also addressed. The project was restored and completed by Heritage Engineering in 2003.

Glossary

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Acroter, flat base
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Chamfered, a beveled edge connecting two surfaces
  • Palmette, a decorative motif resembling the fan shaped leaves of a palm tree

 

Sources:
http://www.kirkintilloch-herald.co.uk/news/local-headlines/park-prepares-for-a-return-to-glory-1-360419
http://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/sc-36665-drinking-fountain-at-peel-park-
http://www.edlcimages.co.uk/archive/categories/parks/view/1275/
http://www.heritageengineering.com/am_02.html
Peel Park, Kirkintilloch.
Drinking Fountain, Peel Park
Drinking Fountain, Peel Park
http://www.edinphoto.org.uk/0_a/0_around_edinburgh_-_kirkintilloch_fountain_and_bandstand_018842.htm


Fleetwood Cherub Fountain

Location: Fleetwood, Lancashire, England

The drinking fountain at the east side of the Esplanade in Euston Park was erected in memory of two fishermen who lost their lives in the attempt to save others.

During a violent storm in Morecambe Bay on November 7th, 1890, a schooner was spotted in distress. A small boat was launched from the fishing boat, Osprey, and three fishermen were dispatched to rescue the crew. Although George Wilkinson, James Abram and George Greenall succeeded in rescuing the crew of three, the small boat was swamped by the turbulent seas and sank. Silver Medals were awarded by the Royal National Life Institute to Wilkinson who was the only survivor,  and to the captain, James Fogg.

The fountain was erected in the latter part of the 19th century. Manufactured at the Saracen Foundry it is a modified example of casting number 19 (10’ 10” high.) A quatrefoil basin is supported by a wide base with four lion jambs symbolic of guardians. The stanchion and central column are decorated with acanthus relief. Four tendrils originally protruded from the column to suspend drinking cups on chains. The capital supports the finial, a putto holding a parasol, seated on a toadstool.

The fountain was listed a grade II historic building in 1978.

Glossary

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Jamb, a projecting vertical post containing sculpture
  • Putto, a figure in a work of art depicted as a chubby male child, usually nude
  • Quatrefoil, a type of decorative framework consisting of a symmetrical shape which forms the overall outline of four partially-overlapping circles of the same diameter
  • Stanchion, an upright bar or post providing support

Sources:

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cherub_fountain,_Fleetwood_-_geograph.org.uk_-_429391.jpg

http://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/en-184745-drinking-fountain-on-east-side-of-euston/photos

http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1584731

http://www.flickr.com/photos/hisgett/3332201123/

http://lanternimages.lancashire.gov.uk/index.php?a=wordsearch&s=item&key=WczoxMToiamFtZXMgYWJyYW0iOw==&pg=1

http://www.dnw.co.uk/auctions/catalogue/lot.php?auction_id=276&lot_id=1409


Penarth, Penarth Fountains

There are two drinking fountains in Penarth, Glamorgan, Wales.

St. Augustine’s Church

The wall inset fountain located at St. Augustine’s Church was manufactured by the Saracen Foundry and is 4 foot 5 inches high. The font is casting number 17, and is surmounted by a palmette finial. Griffin terminals flank a highly decorated arch with rope detail which also outlines a medallion hosting the image of a crane. The tap protrudes from a shell lunette which is repeated in the fluted basin. A single drinking cup was originally suspended on a chain.

I have been unable to find any record regarding purchase or installation of the fountain. However, in 1925 the Town Surveyor was authorised to purchase six drinking fountains for use in the park and elsewhere.

Alexandra Park

The second fountain (casting number 7 from Walter Macfarlane’s catalogue, manufactured at the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow) is located at Alexandra Park, Beach Road, Penarth. It is located north of the pond which itself has a fountain. It was purchased in 1911 and is visible in old postcards from 1915. Currently the drinking fountain is a pedestal with a circular concrete top. The original structure was 5 feet 8 inches high, a single pedestal with four decorative columns and descending salamander relief that supported the decorated basin. A central urn with four projecting tendrils offered drinking cups suspended by chains. The terminal was a crane, a symbol of vigilance.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Griffins are symbolic of guardians of priceless possessions, salamanders display bravery and courage that cannot be extinguished by fire, and cranes are recognized as a symbol of vigilance.

Glossary

  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Griffin, winged lion denotes vigilance and strength, guards treasure and priceless possessions
  • Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
  • Palmette, a decorative motif resembling the fan shaped leaves of a palm tree
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

 

 


Hoylake Promenade Fountain

Location: Wirral, Cheshire, England

This drinking fountain was erected in 1901 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Jubilee. The fountain is seated on a two tiered plinth located at the Hoylake promenade in Wirral. It was listed a grade II historic building on 20 January 1988.

Although the drinking fountain was still operational in the 1970s vandalism regularly destroyed the taps, and eventually the council stopped repairing it. It has changed colour throughout the years: a shade of green in the 1960s then painted blue in the 1970s, and when it was removed for restoration in 2008, it was black and gold. It has since been returned to the original paint colour.

A special project grant from Wirral Coucil enabled restoration and the structure was transported to Wolverhampton for repairs in February 2008. The project was completed in several stages; the font, finials and dedication medallion being installed after the fountain was returned to the Promenade.

Cast iron is an unusual material to be used in conjunction with water, and rust appeared almost immediately. In 2011 repairs were required. The basin is no longer a working font although the water pipe still remains under the plinth.

The following photos show the fountain in previous decades and also in various stages of the restoration project (architectural pieces are missing.) The last photograph shows the complete structure.

Drinking fountain number 8 from Walter Macfarlane & Co.’s catalogue was manufactured at the Saracen Foundry at Possilpark in Glasgow. The structure is 9 feet 6 inches high and is seated on a two tier square plinth. The structure consists of four columns, from the capitals of which consoles with griffin terminals unite with arches formed of decorated mouldings.

Rope moulded cartouches within each lunette host an image of Queen Victoria upon which is stamped the manufacturer’s name, Macfarlane & Co. Glasgow. The fourth medallion contains an inscription, For the Children of Hoylake and Meols. On two of the sides provision was made for receiving an inscription using raised metal letters. The structure is surmounted by an open filigree dome, the finial being a crown with a pattée cross.

Under the canopy stands the font (design number 7) 5 foot 8 inches high. The basin which has a scalloped edge and decorative relief is supported by a single decorative pedestal with four pilasters and four descending salamanders, a symbol of courage and bravery. A central urn with four consoles offer drinking cups suspended by chains. The terminal is a crane.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Griffins are symbolic of guardians of priceless possessions, salamanders display bravery and courage that cannot be extinguished by fire, and cranes are recognized as a symbol of vigilance.

Glossary

  • Capital: The top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Cartouche, a structure or figure, often in the shape of an oval shield or oblong scroll, used as an architectural or graphic ornament or to bear a design or inscription
  • Console: a decorative bracket support element
  • Filigree, fine ornamental work
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Fret, running or repeated ornament
  • Griffin, winged lion denotes vigilance and strength, guards treasure and priceless possessions
  • Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
  • Pattée cross, a cross with arms that narrow at the centre and flare out at the perimeter
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Pilaster, a column form that is only ornamental and not supporting a structure
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal