Monthly Archives: August 2014

Formby Drinking Fountain

Location: Port Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

John Formby was a J.P. and the Mayor of Port Adelaide for four successive years, 1870-1873. As a mark of appreciation, a public subscription raised money ‘to order a handsome fountain from Scotland’. The location was chosen to serve the large number of men who frequently worked on North Parade opposite Nelson Street. It was unveiled on Saturday 27 May 1877 by the Mayor in the presence of Mr. Formby.

It was later moved to the entrance of the Port Dock Railway Station in an area where there was no clean drinking water.

The National Railway Museum stands on the former site of the Port Dock Railway Station on the corner of Lipson and St Vincent St and included the area where the Port Adelaide Police Station and Magistrates Court now stand. The fountain is currently located outside the Port Adelaide Police Complex at the intersection of St. Vincent St. and Lipson Street. A National Trust marker is set into the ground beneath the coat of arms.

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

Rope moulded cartouches contained within each lunette host 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.’ A dedication crest in one of the lunettes states, Erected / by public subscription / to / John Formby Esq. J.P. / Mayor / 1870-1-2&3. A second lunette displays the Coat of Arms for Port Adelaide, depicting a crest held by an Aboriginal man and a sailor with the motto Haud pluribus impaSecond to none.

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 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 was 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

 

 


Market Square Fountain

 Location: Northampton, Northamptonshire, England

This is a lost fountain. The only part remaining is an engraved plaque which is retained at the Abington Museum: Presented to / the Mayor and / Corporation / in trust for the inhabitants / by Samuel Isaac / Captn. Commandt. / of the 5th Corps of / Northamptonshire / Rifle Volunteers / 1863.

The fountain was manufactured by the Eagle Foundry of Northampton. There is a historic tale that the owners and brothers, Edward and William Barwell, made two fountains. The second fountain sank during the voyage to Australia.

The fountain was erectedin 1863 at the south-side of the Market Square to commemorate the marriage of Prince Albert to Princess Alexandra of Denmark. It was no ordinary cast-iron fountain, 45 feet high and 19 feet wide with many of the enrichments cast in valuable bronze.

The structure was seated on an octagonal plinth with four steps leading to the base of the fountain which formed a St. Andrew’s cross. A decorative sculptured jamb was located on each corner. Drinking basins were located on the north and south sides and shields bearing inscriptions on the east and west sides. Emblems, masks, and shields containing the Borough’s coat of arms and the crest of Captain Samuel Isaac were visible on the lower parts of the structure.

Four tazzas with water fountains poured water into basins which then fell into masks and finally into the drinking fountain basin. The acroter supported a highly decorative ornamental column with a gilt globe lantern, 4 feet in diameter, surmounted by a Maltese cross.

In 1930 the Market Square fountain was renovated, and the globe lamp which had already been replaced by 1900 was replaced once again with four suspended lamps.

After being a much loved focal point of the Market Place for almost a century, the cast iron fountain was removed in 1962 due to repeated vandalism and the opinion that the structure was unsafe. This opinion was proven false when it took several days, six men, a crane and a blowtorch to remove it.

The stone steps remained and were used by market traders to stack their goods. In due time the steps and the cobbles in the square were also removed leaving no vestige of the fountain ever being there.

Glossary

  • Acroter, flat base
  • Jamb, a projecting vertical post containing sculpture
  • Maltese cross, a cross with four arms of equal length, each arm in a “V” shape, and eight points
  • Mask, 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.
  • Tazza, A shallow saucer-like dish either mounted on a stem and foot, or on a foot alone.

 

Image Sources

https://www.flickr.com/photos/nfhs/with/7716180100/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1444977242404160/photos/

 


Tomintoul Fountain

Location: Tomintoul, Moray, Scotland

The town of Tomintoul (famous for the Glenlivet Estate and renowned whisky of the same name) was originally designed by the Duke of Gordon in the 18th century with a grassy square which formed a focal point in the 40 foot wide Main Street.

The drinking fountain donated by Robert Gordon is number 41 from the Lion Foundry and was erected in the Square in 1915.

The fountain is 12 ft 8 ins high and stands on a square stone base upon which is a square grate. The central column is decorated with palmette and acanthus relief. Quatrefoil basins are supported by a square base with chamfered corners. Panels above each basin are decorated with floral relief divided into sections by a compass cross. The centre circle contains a lion mask with self closing tap from which water spouts. A black dedication plaque on two sides states Presented By / Robert Grant M.D. / To / His Native Village / As A / Memento Of His Boyhood / 1915.

The capital supports a multi-level acroter surmounted by the figure of a woman dressed in flowing robes holding an olive branch in her left hand while supporting an urn on her head with her right hand.

The two cast-iron stools were originally located beneath the basins to assist children and are inscribed with the words, ‘Step Up Bairns’

The fountain was listed a Category C historic building on 9 November 1987.

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
  • Compass cross, a cross of equal vertical and horizontal lengths, concentric with and overlaying a circle.
  • Palmette, a decorative motif resembling the fan shaped leaves of a palm tree
  • 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

 

 


Pearson Park Fountain

Location: Kingston-upon-Hull, Yorkshire, England

Henry John Atkinson, a ship owner and a politician who was Mayor of Kingston-upon-Hull in 1864 and 1865, presented this fountain to the town in 1864. It was erected in Pearson Park and stands on a two tiered square plinth. The fountain was recorded as a Grade II listed building in 1994. It was restored in 1980 after many years of neglect and vandalism by T. H. Dick & Co. Ltd. under the management of a charitable trust of the City Council, and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The structure consisted of 24 separate castings slotted together with leaded joints of which approximately 14 castings were broken, cracked or missing. Many years of paint and corrosion were removed from the castings to enable them to be used as patterns. The moulders of T. H. Dick & Co. Ltd. using their artisan skills created moulds from the broken sections by carving out small missing sections and adding contraction to enable the new castings to fit with the old. The result is a beautifully restored piece of Victorian street furniture still in use today (per 2016).

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

Rope moulded cartouches contained within each lunette host the image of a crane, a dedication shield with the inscription, Presented by Henry John Atkinson 1864, the town’s coat of arms represented by three stacked crowns, 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 missing finial was 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 standard terminal with this design was a crane atop an urn.

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