Monthly Archives: October 2014

Benson Memorial Fountain

Location: High Street & Portrush Road, Kensington, South Australia

In the 19th century, Dr. Benson was a family man and surgeon who served the Kensington and Norwood communities. The doctor was held in high regard for his policy of treating everyone equally, regardless of status, religion or wealth. When he was stricken with a severe case of pneumonia in July 1877, prayers and a three day vigil were held for his recovery. He died at age 39. A procession over a mile long containing hundreds of mourners followed the hearse from his home to his resting place in West Terrace Cemetery.

Public subscriptions enabled the purchase of a memorial drinking fountain to which the Council donated a lamp to surmount the structure. Reverend Dr. Tappeiner, on behalf of the Sisters of St. Joseph offered a triangle of land for the memorial, ‘granted by the Convent of St. Joseph whose inmates benefited from Benson’s regard’.

The F Company volunteer infantry, under the command of Captain Glyde, and the local Oddfellows and Foresters formed in procession at the Town Hall and marched to the scene of the ceremonial. The memorial fountain was unveiled in 1879 by Lady Elizabeth Smith, wife of Sir Edwin T Smith, Mayor of Adelaide (formerly Mayor of Kensington & Norwood) who handed it over to the current Mayor (Mr. S.D. Glyde.)

The fountain was registered on the Australian Heritage Database on 21 March 1978.

The structure was moved from its original location during the upgrading and widening of Portrush Road in 2004. At this time the drinking fountain was restored thanks to persistent lobbying of Council and Transport SA by Kensington Residents Association who also contributed to the cost of repainting in the original colour scheme.

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 consists of four columns, from the capitals of which consoles with griffin terminals unite with arches formed of decorated mouldings.

On two sides rope moulded cartouches contained within each lunette display the inscription; Erected By Public Subscription In Affectionate Remembrance Of The Late John Benson Surgeon 1877. The opposite two sides have shields containing the Australian coat of arms before the advent of Federation; (a shield in four quarters surmounted by a six point star. The 1st quarter contained a golden fleece, the 2nd contained a three mast schooner with sails rolled up, the 3rd quarter displayed a harpoon and anchor crossed diagonally, and the 4th quarter contained a wheatsheaf. To the left and right of the shield stand a kangaroo and emu.)

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 is a crane. The font has since been replaced with a bubbler.

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

Queen Victoria Jubilee Drinking Fountain

Location: The Green, Shirehampton, Bristol, England

A cast iron drinking fountain originally located on a triangle of land at the northern edge of the Parade between Park Hill and High Street was erected in 1897 to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. The fountain was registered as a Grade II Historic Building on 8 January 1959.

Through a project funded by the Shirehampton Community Group (by public subscription) and the Bristol City Council the entire fountain was repaired, cleaned and repainted in the autumn of 1998.

Verse from an old Shirehampton folk song:

I met me first love in the village
(name of Mary-jean)
We shar’d a cup of water from
The fountain on the Green
We first sang carols there together
One cold Christmas Eve
Then went into The George to drink
Before I took me leave.

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 consists of four columns, from the capitals of which consoles with griffin terminals unite with arches formed of decorated mouldings, (griffins no longer exist on this structure).

Rope moulded cartouches contained within each lunette host the image of a crane, and a bust of Queen Victoria. On two sides provision was made for receiving an inscription using raised metal letters; Queen Victoria’s Daimond Jubiliee 1897 is displayed above the bust of the Monarch. 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.’ and the useful monition, Keep the pavement dry were common features of this casting. 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 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

Jubilee Clock

Location: Douglas, Isle of Man

Situated at Victoria St and Loch Promenade this clock tower drinking fountain was donated by GW Dumbell in 1887 as a commemoration of the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria’s reign.

Manufactured at Walter Macfarlane’s Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, the tower was 32 feet high. The front of the octagonal pedestal originally offered a large drinking trough for horses supported by legs in the form of hooves and fetlocks. Receptacles for human consumption were supplied in the form of small basins with a trefoil art-form located between the basin and the tap above.

Bands of quatrefoil fret are in each of the eight panels surrounding the pedestal. Seated above angled gables are eight commemorative panels of alternating cartouches with peaked terminals and arch faceplates. In rotational order:

  • 1887
  • The Jubilee Clock / Was Refurbished In 1996 / As Part Of / Douglas Corporation’s Centenary / Celebrations. / It Was Recomissioned At A / Ceremony Performed By The / Worshipful The Mayor, Mr. Councillor / D.W. Christian J.P. / On Sunday 22nd September / 1996.
  • Queen
  • A bust of Queen Victoria
  • Victoria
  • Presented / by / George William Dumbell / as a Jubilee gift / to the / Town of Douglas / June 1887
  • Jubilee
  • A bust of Queen Victoria

A two tiered acroter supports an attic base with four slender columns. The column capital supports a four sided clock bound by decorative spandrels. The acroteria is edged with elaborate scroll relief, and at each corner is an acorn finial, a symbol of life and immortality. The structure is surmounted with a decorative openwork corona terminating in a ball finial. A chiming bell cast by John Taylor & Co. of Loughborough, England is suspended in the centre of the corona. The 8-day clock mechanism was hand cranked and used a descending weight in the column. It was converted to electricity in 1965. The four clock faces originally lit by small gas jets were also converted to use electricity.

The clocks were dispatched to England for restoration in 1996 at which time an electronically operated mechanism and chime was installed.

On 20 September 2002 the structure was registered on the Protected Buildings Register.

In 2012 an application was made to move the clock tower to ease traffic flow. The move of eight metres has centrally positioned it in the street and enabled pedestrians to walk around the clock. Moving the clock tower, which weighs five tons, and seating it on a circular marble plinth, took two days. The feat was completed on 25 October 2013.

Glossary

  • 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
  • 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.
  • Corona, a crown
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Fret, running or repeated ornament
  • Gable, triangular portion of a wall between edges of a dual pitched roof
  • 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
  • Spandrel, the triangular space between two arches
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal
  • Trefoil, An ornamental design of three rounded lobes

Broadway Fountain

Location: Orangeville, Ontario, Canada

“In 1863 a by-law was passed to prohibit cows and pigs from running on the streets. There was no mention of hens.”

In 1875 the Newton log house was demolished, and a town hall was constructed to operate as municipal offices and as a farmers’ market which was the only legal place to sell meat. Steer mascarons are still part of the structure and are visible above the doors and windows.

The fountain which is situated outside the Town Hall on Broadway was part of a set that once graced the street. The other was demolished for much needed scrap metal during World War II. It is currently used as a planter.

The structure offered fresh water to humans, horses and dogs. On one side two taps fed water into a large horse trough. The other side hosted a vertical basin for human consumption. The water run-off fed into a small basin at ground level for dogs and smaller animals.

The structure is seated on a two tiered rectangular base bolted to a concrete plinth. The drinking fountain is attached to the trough by consoles decorated with scrolls and trefoil relief. An embossed palmette forms the design on the back and interior of the fountain. The terminal is a palmette.

The manufacturer’s stamp is visible on the base, Canada Foundry Co. Limited, Toronto.

Glossary
Console, a decorative bracket support element
Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal
Palmette, a decorative motif resembling the fan shaped leaves of a palm tree
Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.
Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal
Trefoil, An ornamental design of three rounded lobes


Warrenpoint Fountain

Location: Warrrenpoint, County Down, Norther Ireland

In the late 19th century, Major Hall, owner of Narrow-water Castle and landlord of the town, donated 7 acres of land to provide sanitation and drinking water to the town. The Warrenpoint Waterworks, later to be known as Donaghaguy Reservoir, was formally opened on 22 April 1876. Mr. Barton, Civil Engineer, presented a drinking fountain to the town.

This fountain was number 7 from Walter Macfarlane’s catalog manufactured at the Saracen foundry in Glasgow, Scotland. The font was a single pedestal basin with four decorative columns rising from a two tiered square plinth. Four salamanders descended the fountain pedestal as a symbol of courage and bravery. The basin had a scalloped edge and decorative relief. A central urn with four outstretched tendrils offered drinking cups suspended by chains. The terminal was a crane recognized as a symbol of vigilance.

The last 3 images reveal that the crane and drinking cups have been removed. The fountain was still in existence although not in use in the early 1950s. Its demise is not known although there is a rumour that it rests in a private garden.

Glossary:
Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests
Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal 

 


Weinbauer Fountain

Location: Weinplatz, Zurich, Switzerland

Weinplatz is the oldest market square in Zurich. Grapes were transported here to be pressed; often in a tub carried on the vintner’s back. The drinking fountain, which originates from springs and is claimed by locals to be as pure as bottled mineral water, was erected in 1909. The German word Weinbauer is translated as Vintner, or wine grower.

The drinking fountain is seated on a circular plinth. The circular stone pedestal with attic base is a reservoir for water which falls from two pipes extruding from the mouths of lion masks. The pedestal is surmounted by a cast iron canopy with five columns. The column capitals are a stylized design which represents grapes on the vine. This design is replicated at the peak of the dome and in the finial at the apex. Cartouches in the centre of each arch display a mascaron with a smiling face. The ribbed dome is open filigree with spiral design. The ribs culminate in an orb and a spike which supports the official flag of Zurich.

The font contains a stone stanchion supporting a statue of a vintner carrying a tub of grapes on his back. He is wearing a short tunic open to the waist, a hat, ankle boots, and he carries a walking stick in his left hand.

Glossary
Attic base, a column base with two rings
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.
Filigree, fine ornamental work
Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
Mask/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.
Stanchion, upright bar or post providing support
Vinter, winemaker


Townsend Drinking Fountain

Location: Glenelg, Adelaide, South Australia

A drinking fountain erected in Colley Reserve was presented to the Mayor by William Townsend, Esq., M.P. The fountain was erected at the centre of the reserve running parallel with the northern seawall and the HMS Buffalo cannon. It was officially opened by Mrs. Townsend on 20 October, 1877, who stated, ‘I now declare the fountain open to the Mayor, burgesses and the public generally, and as we learn from the best authority that cold water is to the thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country, so often while people are drinking the water here they will see the mail coming in bringing news from the far countries.’

The fountain was relocated to the front garden of Partridge House which was recorded as a State Heritage Place in the SA Heritage Register on November 1986.

In its original location drinking fountain number 8, from Walter Macfarlane & Co.’s catalogue, was seated on a two tiered plinth. The structure with a gas lit lantern was 9 feet 6 inches high and consisted of four columns, from the capitals of which consoles with griffin terminals unite with arches formed of decorated mouldings (the griffins no longer exist on the structure).

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.’ Crests within the lunettes offer dedication and coats of arms. 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 was surmounted by an open filigree dome; the original finial being a gas lit lantern. A photograph shows that the finial was later replaced by a crown with a pattée cross. However, the current structure now contains a lantern very similar to the original casting.

Under the canopy the original the font (design number 7) was 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. The supply of water was replaced with a bubbler. The font’s terminal which was a crane is no longer present on the structure.

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