Gentleman Fountain

Location: West Bridge Street & Hope Street, Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland

Patrick Gentleman, and his brother John, owned a local drapery business at 85 High Street. Upon his demise he left a sum of money for the erection of an ornamental drinking fountain in the burgh. When new sheriff courthouses were built at the west end it was decided to erect the fountain on the vacant space between the south end and the public road.

The fountain was handed over in 1871 by Baillie John Gentleman, the sole executor of his late brother, to Provost Russel and the other magistrates, on behalf of the town.

In 1898, County Buildings, which were previously on Bank Street, had been built on the west corner of Hope Street. The fountain remained at this junction until 1923 when it was removed to allow construction of tramlines. The fountain no longer exists and is categorized as Lost.

Drinking fountain number 2, manufactured by the Sun Foundry, was seated on a three tiered octagonal plinth that consisted of eight columns supporting a large solid domed canopy. An open filigree frieze decorated the outer edge of the cornice. Above the cornice was an elaborate filigree design with star shaped terminals. The finial on the cupola was a bird with open wings. A single central lamp illuminated the interior of the structure.

The wide based font, design number 13, was located on a raised and stepped platform. The central pedestal was supported by four columns stamped with a diamond pattern. Square capitals on each side of the dog toothed basin contain a seven pointed embellishment which may represent a star or the sun. This symbol also outlines the ribs on the domed roof. Four consoles with acanthus relief connect the central stanchion to the basin and originally supported drinking cups suspended on chains. Shell motif spouts released water flow. A multi-tiered circular column was surmounted by a studded orb terminal.

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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
  • Cornice, a molding or ornamentation that projects from the top of a building
  • Cupola, a small, domed structure on top of a roof.
  • Filigree, fine ornamental work
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests
  • Stanchion, upright bar or post providing support
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal
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Posted on November 18, 2014, in Architecture, Cast Iron, Lost, Memorial Drinking Fountain, Scotland, Sun Foundry and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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