Parliament Square Fountain

Location: Ramsey, Isle of Man

In Parliament Square outside the old town hall is a beautifully restored cast iron lamp post which was originally a drinking fountain. The fountain was design number 194 in the Sun Foundry catalog. However, the design was purchased by the Lion Foundry of Kirkintilloch after 1899 and was re-titled as design #41.

The original structure was 17 feet 2 inches high. The pedestal with chamfered edge hosts four panels containing a lion mascaron with self-closing tap from which water spouted into small basins. Drinking water was captured in metal cups suspended on chains. Overflow water which drained into demi-lune troughs for horses also fed small troughs at ground level for dogs.

A frieze of acanthus leaves is situated beneath the capital upon which there is a lamp standard with a base of four decorative scrolls. The pedestal has a bulbous base with bas-relief extending into a fluted column with bands. A two tiered acroter supports decorative yoke maintenance arms and a tapered hexagon glass lantern.

The fonts were removed sometime between 1936 and 1970 per historical images, relegating the structure to an elaborate lamp post. It was demolished when a car crashed into it in 2014, and restored by a local company, Hamilton Project Management Limited.


  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Acroter, flat base
  • Bas-relief, sculpted material that has been raised from the background to create a slight projection from the surface
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Chamfer, a beveled edge
  • Compass cross, a cross of equal vertical and horizontal lengths, concentric with and overlaying a circle.
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Yoke maintenance arms, the bars near the top of a street light which supported the lamplighter’s ladder

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