Edward VII Fountain

Location: Somerton, Somerset, England

Cow Square was a former market square, and it is here that we find a cast iron drinking fountain and horse trough painted in silver. It was erected in 1902 to celebrate the coronation of Edward VII.

Seated on a rectangular plinth of stone, the structure consists of two horse troughs and a central pedestal with four arched inset panels displaying a mask of a mythical sea creature. The mask on the east facing panel spouted water into a demi basin. Eight fluted pilasters surround the base. Four corner pilasters are the same height as the troughs. The four central pilasters which surround the central pedestal extend into columns with knob finials. The abacus and four winged Greek votive sphinx support a fluted pillar with acanthus leaf decoration. The structure is surmounted with a round glass globe operated by gas.

At ground level two small basins were fed by overflow from the troughs and serviced dogs and other small animals. A dedication is engraved across the east facing panels of each animal trough: ERECTED IN COMMEMORATION / OF THE CORONATION OF / KING EDWARD VII / AUGUST 9TH 1902.

The multi use cast iron drinking fountain, horse trough and lamp was cast by Coalbrookdale Company in Shropshire for T. C. Head, a Somerton ironmonger. It was listed as a category grade II listed building on 30 September 1985.

Glossary

  • Abacus, at the top of a capital, a thick rectangular slab of stone that serves as the flat, broad surface
  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Fluted Shaft, a long rounded groove decorating the shaft of a column
  • Greek Sphinx, a mythical creature with the haunches of a lioness, the wings of an eagle, a serpent headed tail, and the breasts and head of a woman
  • Mask/Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal
  • 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.

 

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