Monthly Archives: December 2015

Alexander Hamilton Memorial Fountain

Location: Chaine Memorial Road, Larne, Co Antrim, Ireland

Alexander Hamilton was born in 1824.He lived on Bridge Street in Larne with his wife, three sons and a daughter. As a highly respected grocer and hardware merchant in the community, he was elected to represent ratepayers at the Larne Union Poor Law Board and the Board of Larne Town Commissioners. He was a staunch Conservative and a member of the Loyal Orange Institution in Larne advancing within the membership to become the Deputy Master of the District Lodge of Co. Antrim.

He died on 9 April 1981 at the residence of his son-in-law, R. B. Kennedy. His funeral was well attended with a procession half a mile long. He was buried on 11 April 1891 in Glynn Church Yard, Larne, Ireland.

A drinking fountain was erected in his memory. A dedication plaque on the southern side reads :Erected / By Orangemen And Others / Sympathizing Friends / To The Memory Of / Alexr Hamilton / Of Larne / Who Died 9th April 1891 / Aged 67 Years / James N Mccalmont MP DL / A Boyd Secretary / J Fullerton Treasurer.

The fountain located at Sandy Bay is a customization of number 13 by George Smith’s Sun Foundry. Seated on a two tiered octagonal plinth, the base is in the form of a compass cross with canted corners. It has a central pedestal and four columns decorated with diamond frieze and nail head molding which support the font. The large basin has nail head relief on the rim and is partitioned by four foliate brackets from which cups were suspended on chains. Shell motif spouts on each side released water flow. The fountain differs slightly from the original design with an elongated column to host the dedication plaque. The structure is surmounted with a banded orb finial.

Glossary:

  • Canted corner, an angled surface which cuts of a corner
  • Compass cross, a cross of equal vertical and horizontal lengths, concentric with and overlaying a circle.
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Foliate, decorated with leaves or leaf like motif
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.

 

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Dunbar Drinking Fountain

In the 19th century clean drinking water was a major issue causing outbreaks of typhoid. The drinking fountain on Queen’s Road was supplied courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Nisbet Hamilton Ogilvy of Winton Castle and Estate. The history of the drinking fountain is recorded on a marker at the intersection of Queen’s Road and Church Street.

flickr_Paul readman

Used with permission, Paul Readman. Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/redmaaan/6100230442/in/photostream

“The cast iron drinking fountain formerly at Bayswell Park was placed here by Dunbar Community Council and East Lothian Council in February 2007 to commemorate the official inauguration of a new water supply for Dunbar on 14th March 1896. The ceremony took place at this location.

In response to a serious typhoid outbreak in the town in the autumn and winter of 1895/6 they reacted quickly. A new source of water was provided by Mr. and Mrs. Henry Nisbet Hamilton Ogilvy of Biel.

This came from the Cauld and Howe Burns at Halls Farm. The inauguration ceremony included a grand procession held in bitterly cold conditions. Provost James Brand invited Mrs. Nisbet Hamilton Ogilvy to declare the supply open. She did so and presumable turned it on. There was a strong gust of wind and a sudden spray of clear water descended on those nearby.

On the day, the fountain was referred to as the Jubilee Fountain, in anticipation of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897. It was replaced by a more useful combined gas light standard and horse trough in the reign of King Edward VII.”

The fountain designed by the foundry of David King & Sons (Glasgow) was listed a Category C historic building on 11 January 1988. An octagonal base decorated with rosettes and egg and dart frieze supports a spiral fluted pedestal and a large basin. The pedestal is elongated with an octagonal capital decorated with alternate panels of rosettes and spigots. Four ornamental scroll consoles which protrude from the tapering shaft originally supported drinking cups. The finial is a tapered extension with two spheres.

A combined gas light standard and horse trough replaced the drinking fountain presumably when it was relocated to Bayswell Park. Photographs of the horse trough identify it outside the Temperance Hotel named Hillside Pension on Queen’s Road. (The Temperance Movement aimed to curb the consumption of strong spirits – it was not a total abstinence movement – wine and beer were an acceptable alternative to unclean, untreated, drinking water.) The design of the horse trough and lantern are similar to design number 46 offered by Walter Macfarlane’s Saracen Foundry in Glasgow. It provided a large circular trough for horses with small basins for dogs at ground level.

Glossary

  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Egg and dart, a carving of alternating oval shapes and dart or arrow shapes
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Fluted, a long rounded groove
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Rosette, a round stylized flower design
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Spigot, a device that controls the flow of liquid

Vernon Park Fountain

Location: Vernon Park, Stockport, Greater Manchester.

In 1859, a drinking fountain paid by subscription from the workers of a local cotton mill was presented to the park. It featured an elaborate cast iron statue called ‘the Slave’. Designed by Coalbrookdale Co., it represents a Blackamoor, a popular art form of North African figures in the 18th and 19th century which celebrated Britain’s empire and the wealth generated by the slave trade.

The metal structure was removed to be used for armaments during World War II. The fountain in its present form is a recreation by Dorothea Restorations Ltd. in 2000 with funding from a Heritage Lottery Fund grant to restore Vernon Park.

The circular granite base seated on a square plinth contains a dedication; Presented / By The / Workpeople Of / Messrs R Greg & Co / Albert Mill / Reddish / AD 1859. The cornice moldings are egg and dart design, and the capital is edged with dentil molding.

The concave three sided cast iron structure straddles a stone font creating two demi-lune basins into which water spouts from the mouths of curly haired mascarons. A button press initiates the flow of water. Beneath one of the mascarons is a plate identifying Dorothea Restorations Ltd / Whaley Bridge & Bristol.

The statue is a young black child dressed in flowing robes which swath his head, back and legs. He is standing contrapposto with his arms upraised to support a large basin which is balanced on his head. His feet rest on an ornate pedestal with three bestial clawed feet. Each side of the pedestal is decorated with acanthus, shells, flora and the mascaron of human face.

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
  • Contrapposto, stance where one leg bears the weight and the other leg is relaxed
  • Cornice, a molding or ornamentation that projects from the top of a building
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Mask/Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.

Swindon Fountain

Location: Swindon, Wiltshire, England

A drinking fountain, seated on a circular stone plinth, was presented by the Swindon United Temperance Board and erected in 1893 in front of the public office building (Town Hall) and the Baptist Tabernacle in Regent Circus which was erected in 1886. The fountain was removed in the summer of 1920 to prepare for the installation of the Cenotaph.

The 18 ft. drinking fountain was drinking fountain number 27 manufactured by Walter Macfarlane & Co. at the Saracen Foundry, Glasgow. The design was well suited for Street Crossings, Squares, Market Places, etc., as it afforded drinking accommodation for a large number of horses and drivers, and effectively lit a wide space, with the least possible obstruction to other traffic.

It provided a drinking trough for horses with small basins for dogs at ground level. The trough was a circular cast iron basin supported on legs in the form of horses’ hooves. The central stanchion supported a central fluted column offering four projecting consoles with suspended cups that allowed humans to drink from spouting water whilst horses drank from the large basin. A shield on the central column offered inscription. The structure was capped with a central lamp, a crown and finial. Roofed in with scales of opal glass the lantern cast the light downwards (design number 223).

Glossary

  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • 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
  • Plinth, Flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.
  • Stanchion, an upright bar or post providing support