Woodhouse Moor Fountain

Location: Leeds, West Yorkshire, England

In 1857, following an Act of Parliament, Leeds Corporation acquired the Woodhouse Moor for £3,200 and it became the town’s first municipal park. It was formally landscaped in the 1870s with trees, walkways, gardens, a fountain with clock turret and a bandstand. The walkways were later enhanced in 1902 with iron archways and gas lights to commemorate the coronation of Edward VII and facilitate ‘evening promenading’ The Moor has a number of diagonal walkways which converge in the centre where the bandstand and fountain originally stood.

Alderman William North donated the imposing public drinking fountain and bandstand which was a focal point of the walks in the park. It was presented by the Leeds councillor in 1879. The clock turret was presented by Councillor Adam Brown.

The bandstand was removed during World War II to be melted down to supply armaments for the war effort. It is possible that this ‘Lost’ fountain endured the same fate.

Drinking fountain number 1 manufactured by the Sun Foundry in Glasgow, Scotland, consisted of a modified octagonal base forming the shape of cross. The structure was seated on a two tiered circular plinth. A single rectangular column was divided into 5 levels with the use of acroteria and cornices. The upper levels were supported by four columns with lamp terminals.

Arches offered space for memorial inscriptions and had lunettes with a barometer and thermometer. A demilune basin with tap provided drinking water. In the upper tiers shields were offered on each inset square panel, and provision was made for receiving an inscription using raised metal letters. A clock face pointed in each compass direction. The finial was a weather vane surmounted on a four tiered acroteria.

Glossary:

  • Acroteria, an ornament placed on a flat base and mounted at the apex of the pediment
  • Cornice, a molding or ornamentation that projects from the top of a building
  • Demilune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
  • Finial, A sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Plinth, Flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal
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