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
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