Alum Chine Fountain

Location: Alum Chine, Westbourne, Bournemouth, Dorset, England

A chine is a steep dry river valley. Alum Chine is the largest of four chines within the Bournemouth area.

This 20th century drinking fountain is located at the southern end of Alum Chine near the beach. It was manufactured by Andrew Handyside’s Britannia Foundry and is a modified version of design number 24. The Company’s stamp is displayed on two sides.

The 8 foot high cast iron fountain rests on a concrete foundation inset into a small walled recess (sand has now obliterated the wall and foundation.) The multi-tiered rectangular pedestal has a square base with chamfered corners. A panel has been created on all four sides with the application of a raised border. The panel on two of the four sides is empty and the remaining two panels contain a protruding half basin with fluted edge and an inverted finial. The water spout and cup holders are missing. In their place is a plaque providing data of the manufacture and history of the fountain. The body of the pedestal is edged with sculptured fasces.

A multi-level acroter originally supported a terminal of two dolphins intertwined around a trident. Photographic evidence reveals that the trident and part of a dolphin’s tail have been missing for many years.

With exposure to the sea and weather the cast iron rusted and a fresh coat of paint applied. Although no restoration has been attempted it has regained a little of its dignity.


  • Acroter, flat base
  • Fasces, a bound bundle of rods
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

Image Sources
Alum Chine, Westbourne, Bournemouth, Dorset
Alum Chine, fountain
Alum Chine - Bournemouth ... dolphins - Handyside & Co.


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