Location: Dalton-in-Furness, Cumbria, ENG
The drinking fountain in the Market Place at Dalton-in Furness was erected in 1897 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Jubilee. It was designated a Grade II historic building on 6 May 1976 and was restored in the 1980s.
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.
Rope moulded cartouches contained within the north and south lunettes host the image of a crane; the west contains a dedication: Erected / In / Commemoration Of / Her Majesty’s / Diamond Jubilee / 1897 and above, the useful monition, Keep The Pavement Dry. Civic virtues such as temperance were often extolled in inscriptions on drinking fountains. A left facing bust of Queen Victoria is on the eastern cartouche. The structure is surmounted by an open filigree dome, the finial being a crown with a pattée cross. Originally the terminal hosted a gas lamp above the crown.
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. These items are missing from the current 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.
- 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