Monthly Archives: March 2014

William Hall Fountain

Location: Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, England

William Hall was a philanthropist and a highly respected member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. The Order began in 17th Century England in a time when people struggled to survive. It was therefore considered odd to find an organization of people who gave aid to those in need without any recognition; hence the name, Odd Fellows.

Hall was the oldest Oddfellow in the North of England when he died at age 75 in 1876. Voluntary contributions from the Manchester Unity of Oddfellows erected this memorial drinking fountain in his memory. The fountain was presented to the City of Sunderland in 1878 at a ceremony in Mowbray Park. It is located at the north end of Central Avenue.

The memorial drinking fountain was listed a grade II historical building in 1978. Mowbray Park opened in 1857 and was restored in the late 1990’s, reopening in 2000. The drinking fountain was repainted in 2005.

Drinking fountain number 8 from Walter Macfarlane & Co.’s catalogue is 9 feet 6 inches high and is seated on a square plinth. It 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 medallions which were customized for each order. On the north side is a medallion encircled with the Latin words, Nil Desperandum Auspice Deo 1878 (Do Not Despair Have Faith In God – this is used on the Sunderland coat of arms.) The Borough’s coat of arms is presented in a shield.

On the south side, the medallion contains the same Latin phrase, Nil Desperandum Auspice Deo 1878 (Do Not Despair Have Faith In God.) A shield contains symbols representative of the Order of Oddfellows: a hand with a heart in the palm atop a globe, a beehive on the left, and an hourglass on the right. The heart on hand and hourglass symbols were used by the Order in early 19th century banners. Symbolism: Whatever the hand goes forth to do the heart should go forth in unison.

The east side of the canopy contains a Medallion encircled with the Latin phrase, Amicitia Amor Et Veritas 1878 (Friendship Love and Truth.) A shield contains an inscription: In Memory/ Of William Hall PPGM/ Of The Sunderland/ District Independent /Order Of /Odd Fellows/MU.

On the west side a Medallion encircled with the same phrase, Amicitia Amor Et Veritas 1878 (Friendship Love and Truth.) A shield contains an inscription: Presented/To/The Corporation/Of Sunderland By/The Oddfellows/MU.

On two of the sides provision was made for receiving an inscription using raised metal letters; whilst on the other two sides was the useful monition, Keep The Pavement Dry. Civic virtues such as temperance were often extolled in inscriptions on drinking fountains. The structure is surmounted by an open filigree dome, the finial being a crown with a pattée cross.

Under the canopy stood the original font (design number 7) 5 foot 8 inches high. The basin which had a scalloped edge and decorative relief was 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 offered drinking cups suspended by chains. The terminal was a crane.

At some point, the font was replaced with a pillar style drinking fountain made by Glenfield & Kennedy Ltd. of Kilmarnock. This fluted cast iron cylindrical column has a moulded domed top and pineapple finial. The design was patented by Kennedy as a self closing, anti-freezing pillar fountain. Originally, a metal cup was suspended on a chain, but unfortunately the fervent hope that the fountain ‘may often be used, but never abused, that its crystal streams will continue to flow for many a long year’, has not been realized and the fountain is no longer in use. 

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

 

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Herbert Park Fountain

The drinking fountain in Herbert Park, Ballsbridge, Dublin, Ireland is situated north west of the centre of the lake and was erected in 1912 with unused funds raised by Pembroke Township for the Royal visit of King George V and Queen Mary in 1911.

Documentation states that the drinking fountain was designed by an architect, Adam Gerald Chayter Millar and erected by a contractor named James Beckett. The fountain is actually George Smith & Co.’s pattern number 12, although the company was no longer in business in 1911, and the pattern was undoubtedly purchased by another foundry.

The structure is located on a raised and stepped granite plinth with a central pedestal surrounded by four smaller columns. The large basin has dog tooth design on the rim and is partitioned by four foliate consoles from which cups were suspended on chains. Shell motif spouts on each side released water flow. The structure is surmounted with a ball terminal. Two demi-lune basins at ground level offer a drinking bowl for dogs. The base is 2 ft wide, basin is 2 ft 9” wide and the height of the structure is 4’ 9”.

Glossary

  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Foliate, decorated with leaves or leaf like motif
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

 


Queen Victoria Fountain

Location: Ardersier, Inverness-shire, Scotland

The drinking fountain was erected in 1902 by public subscription to commemorate the reign of Queen Victoria. It is located in the High Street, Ardersier. Water from a reservoir in the hillside serviced the fountain.

The drinking fountain, number 18, was manufactured at Walter Macfarlane’s Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, Scotland and is seated on an octagonal plinth. It has a wide base in the form of a St.Andrew’s cross, on which is set a circular shaft, ornamented with water lilies. Four lion jambs support four highly decorated quatrefoil basins. Rising from the centre is a stanchion decorated with swan and crane decoration. A vase terminal with four projecting tendrils offered drinking cups suspended by chains. A shield contains an inscription: Erected/By Public Subscription/In Commemoration/Of The Reign/Of Her Majesty/Queen Victoria/1837 – 1901.

Glossary

  • Jamb, a projecting vertical post containing sculpture
  • 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

 


Angel Drinking Fountains

There are two angel fountains that I am aware of in England.

Manufactured by the English iron foundry, Coalbrookdale Company, pattern number 101 is a wall mounted drinking fountain.

A sculptured wreath with a recessed scalloped basin is surmounted by the upper torso of a winged angel holding an open book inscribed with a verse from the New Testament: John chapter IV, verses 13 & 14: Whosever drinketh of this water shall thirst again but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give shall never thirst. The recessed interior of the fountain is decorated with a shell surrounded by reeds.

Birmingham

The Angel Fountain erected in 1850 was originally located at Christ Church at the junction of Colmore Row and New Street in Birmingham. When the church was demolished in 1899, the fountain was moved to St. Philips Cathedral in Colmore Row. The fountain is mounted in a rectangular column with acroteria within the south western perimeter of the Cathedral grounds. Originally drinking cups were suspended on chains from two circular mounts on each side of the wreath.

A plaque beneath the fountain describes a brief history of the fountain and its restoration. This drinking fountain originally stood outside Christ Church at the junction of Colmore Row and New Street and after the demolition of the church in 1899 it was re-sited in this location. In 1988 the fountain was restored by the Planning Committee of the City Council, the Cathedral Close Community and Messrs. Wragge and Company, Solicitors.

A small step stone is located directly in front of the fountain as an aid to smaller persons. Two semi circular basins inserted on either side of the fountain at ground level are for the use of dogs.

The fountain was listed an English Heritage grade II architectural or historic interest building in 1982.

Sources

http://ahistoryofbirminghamchurches.jimdo.com/birmingham-st-martin-in-the-bull-ring/christ-church-new-street/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ell-r-brown/3956970966/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ell-r-brown/3956191157/in/photostream/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sgwarnog/7395485086/

http://www.francisfrith.com/birmingham/photos/christ-church-1896_37276/

http://www.speel.me.uk/sculptplaces/scplacepicb/bhamangel.jpg

Bristol

The Angel drinking fountain set into the east wall of St Nicholas church in Bristol was located at one of the city’s busiest road junctions: High Street & Bristol Bridge. It was erected in 19th November 1859 by the Iron Merchants of Bristol. This lost fountain is swathed in mystery as there is much confusion and dispute as to what happened to it.

It has been reported that during the early months of World War II it was removed for safety.

Another source claims that it was destroyed during the war. St. Nicholas Church was utilized as an air raid shelter and was subjected to many enemy bombs which destroyed the church and the surrounding buildings on the High Street. The ensuing fire destroyed furnishings and documents, and if the angel had not been taken off site it is possible that it was destroyed.

Yet another scenario suggests that the angel was damaged during WWII and removed for repair. Further damage was caused by water penetrating the wall. It was neglected in a city council yard until the Temple Local History Group and the Bristol Civic Society took action, and it was transferred to the Bristol Industrial Museum. Its location here has been refuted by a former employee.

Sources

http://www.flickr.com/photos/topspictures/5793566073/

http://www.about-bristol.co.uk/chu-06.asp

http://www.francisfrith.com/bristol/memories/bristol-high-street-and-the-blitz-1940_119521/

http://www.history4u.info/freedownloads/Bristols%20Fascinating%20Fountains.pdf

https://bristoleveningpostarchivesmosd.wordpress.com/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/brizzlebornandbred/2050157552/


Horfield Common Fountain

Location: Bristol, England

W. D. Watt, Grand Master of the Oddfellows Society of Bristol, and Member of Bristol County Council, died in 1899 and was buried in Horfield Churchyard. The following year he was commemorated with the erection of a combination lamp, drinking fountain and animal trough.

Originally located at the bottom of a hill known locally as Pig Sty Hill, the fountain was a welcome respite for horses dragging heavily laden carts up the steep slope. The structure was moved to the junction of Wellington Hill West and Kellaway Avenue to accommodate widening of the road.

Manufactured at the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow drinking fountain number 45 from Walter Macfarlane’s catalogue stands 15 feet high. Seated on a circular plinth, a square pedestal with Egyptian patterned frieze designed by Alexander ‘Greek” Thomson, offered demi-lune basins on four sides with troughs for dogs at ground level. Spigots within the geometric pattern released water into the basins, and drinking cups on chains were suspended from projecting tendrils.

The griffin feet capitals support a four sided central stanchion heavily decorated with palmette and acanthus relief on three sides. The fourth side contains an inscription scroll: Erected by public subscription/to the memory of/W.D. Watts/late member of the Glo’ster/county council for this district/1900.

A fluted column with attic base arises from a highly decorated acroter. The structure capped with a central lamp roofed in with scales of opal glass cast the light downwards (design number 223.) The lamp originally lit by gas is encircled by flowers and a crown containing Maltese crosses surmounted by a trio of spiked orbs.

Although plans to restore street furniture were initiated in 2008, restoration of the drinking fountain has not been a priority.

Glossary

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Acroter, flat base
  • Attic base, a column base with two rings
  • Capital: The top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Fluted, a long rounded groove decorating the shaft of a column
  • Griffin, winged lion denotes vigilance and strength, guards treasure and priceless possessions
  • Palmette, a decorative motif resembling the fan shaped leaves of a palm tree
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Spigot, a device that controls the flow of water (tap)
  • Stanchion, an upright bar or post providing support
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

 

 


St. Anne’s Promenade Fountain

Location: St. Anne’s, Lancashire, England

The Promenade and Gardens in St. Anne’s, Lancashire, England, hosts two fountains. The two tiered spray fountain was erected circa 1900 prior to the creation of the gardens in 1913. The installation date of the drinking fountain is unknown, but is visible in photographs dated prior to 1911. It is located at the junction of South Promenade Road, south east of the pier.

Drinking fountain number 18 was manufactured at Walter Macfarlane’s Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, Scotland, and sits on a two tiered octagonal plinth. It has a wide base in the form of a St. Andrew’s cross, on which is set a circular shaft, ornamented with water lilies. Four lion jambs support four highly decorated quatrefoil basins. Rising from the centre is a stanchion decorated with swans on the east and west and cranes on the north and south. A kylix-shaped vase terminal with four projecting tendrils offered drinking cups suspended by chains. A small trough for dogs is located at the base of the font.

Restoration of the fountains and new, Victorian-style seating for the Promenade was funded in 2000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Glossary

  • Jamb, a projecting vertical post containing sculpture
  • Kylix, a Grecian style drinking cup
  • 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

 


Fountain at Dawbiney Market Square

Location: Roseau, Dominica, West Indies

In the town of Roseau, there is a cobblestone square known as Dawbiney Market Square. It is here that we find an old Victorian drinking fountain which was erected in 1872 as a celebration of the introduction of piped water from La Riviere Douce in the Roseau Valley. It stands on the site of an old well.

The historic market located in the center of the town was a major trading site between Dominica and neighbouring islands. Public executions also took place in the market square, and slave auctions were commonplace. African slaves were brought here by colonial planters, and in 1805 the Population Returns showed 1594 whites, 2882 free people of colour, and 22,083 slaves. Uprisings a decade later eventually led to the emancipation of all slaves in 1838.

The present structure of the fountain is a canopy only. Decorative elements are missing, and the actual drinking fountain no longer exists. The canopy is drinking fountain number 8 from Walter Macfarlane & Co.’s catalogue standing 9 feet 6 inches high consisting of four columns, from the capitals of which consoles with griffin terminals unite with arches formed of decorated mouldings. Currently, three of the griffin terminals are missing.

The design for this casting offered four lunettes hosting the image of a crane, and an open bible displaying a verse from St. John’s Gospel chapter 4 verse 14, ‘Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst.’ On two of the sides provision was made for receiving an inscription using raised metal letters; whilst on the other two sides was the useful monition, Keep the pavement dry. Civic virtues such as temperance were often extolled in inscriptions on drinking fountains. The structure is surmounted by an open filigree dome the finial being a crown with a pattée cross.

Under the canopy there was a font. This fountain design was most often completed with font number 7 at 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