John Miller Fountain

Location: 181 Unley Road , City of Unley Council, Unley, SA  5061

Town of Unley / Erected to the memory of / John Miller / Town Clerk from 1879 to 1903.

In 1904 the Unley Corporation agreed to erect a drinking fountain opposite the Town Hall to commemorate the late John Miller who was Town Clerk for 24 consecutive years and was instrumental in improving roads, drainage and lighting. The fountain was unveiled in 1909 by retiring Mayor J. H. Chinner.

It was originally erected at Oxford Terrace in 1909 over a fresh spring known to the Kaurna (a group of indigenous Australians.) With the advent of the motor vehicle, the fountain became an obstacle to traffic, and it was moved several times.

Cast by the J Martin Foundry at Thebarton, the cast iron structure was seated on a square plinth and consists of four Corinthian columns supporting a canopy. Lunettes above each of the four arches contain 8 roundels. An acroter holds a flat base upon which 12 pilasters support a pediment with finial. The font was a multi-tiered single pedestal with a basin and tin cups suspended by chains.

A plaque positioned between two roundels on the south facing arch contains a dedication: Town of Unley / Erected to the memory of / John Miller / Town Clerk from 1879 to 1903. The structure was listed on the South Australian Heritage Register on 26-Jun-1997.


  • Acroter, flat base
  • Column Corinthian, a fluted shaft with flowers and leaves at the capital.
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
  • Pediment, an element in architecture consisting of a gable placed above a horizontal structure supported by columns
  • 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.
  • Roundel, a small circular decorative plate

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