Monthly Archives: July 2016

Falls Park Drinking Fountain

Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland

In June 1866, a portion of the land purchased from the Sinclair family by Belfast Corporation was used to create Falls Park. It was established as a public park in 1869. The park was used as a congregational area during WWII air raids.

Unfortunately I have been unable to find any information relating to the history of the drinking fountain erected in the park. The attached photos were taken by John Bonar Holmes on July 25, 1946. Used with permission from the Facebook page, Yesterday’s Photos and Photographic Services.

The 6’ 2” drinking fountain, design number 18, was manufactured by Walter Macfarlane’s Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, Scotland. It had a wide base in the form of a St. Andrew’s cross with canted corners, on which was set a circular shaft ornamented with water lilies. Four lion jambs supported four highly decorated quatrefoil basins. An obelisk with swan and bird relief rose from the center of the basins. A kylix-shaped vase terminal with four consoles offered drinking cups suspended by chains.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Griffins are symbolic of guardians of priceless possessions; lions are symbolic of guardianship; owls are symbolic of guardians of the afterlife, and eagles represent immortality.

Glossary

  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Jamb, a projecting vertical post containing sculpture
  • Kylix, a Grecian style drinking cup
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests
  • Quatrefoil, a type of decorative framework consisting of a symmetrical shape which forms the overall outline of four partially-overlapping circles of the same diameter
  • relief
  • Stanchion, upright bar or post providing support
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

 

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Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee Fountain

Location: Walkerton, Ontario, Canada

Donated by Hiram Walker & Sons to the town of Windsor in 1897, the drinking fountain was erected on the west side of Second Street, south of the Lake Erie & Detroit River Railway Station. Mayor Reid introduced Mrs. Edward Chandler Walker, wife of the eldest surviving son of Hiram Walker, who laid the cornerstone of the structure with a silver trowel.

The fountain, designed by prolific and famed Detroit architect Albert Kahn, was created from Amherstburg limestone. The base at the front of the fountain displays an inscription:
“To Commemorate / The Completion Of The Sixtieth / Year Of The Glorious Reign Of / Her Most Gracious Majesty / Queen Victoria / The Gift Of / Hiram Walker & Sons Limited To / The People Of Walkerville. MDCCCXCVII

Four stone columns support a copper roof which was once terminated with an imperial crown. Beneath the cornice extending around all four sides of the fountain is an inscription:
Her Court Was Pure, Her Life Serene / God Gave Her Peace, Her Land Reposed / A Thousand Claims To Reverence Closed / In Her Mother, Wife And Queen.

Positioned under the canopy is a stone font containing a circular stone pedestal. A cast iron baluster engraved with acanthus and foliate supports a terminal with 4 lion mascarons facing the four points of the compass. Water which spouted from the lion mouths was once captured in tin cups.

A stone horse trough which was located at the kerb was removed in the 1930s. Neglect caused three of the water spouts to stop functioning and a spigot was attached to the remaining mascaron. The copper roof deteriorated and the crown disappeared from the apex.

walkervilletimes

In 1958 the fountain was relocated to the gardens behind Willistead Manor in Walkerville. It was restored in 1990 to its original design with the exception of the imperial crown.

Glossary

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Baluster, a moulded shaft offering support
  • Foliate, decorated with leaves or leaf like motif
  • 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
  • Spigot, a device that controls the flow of liquid
  • Stanchion
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

Diamond Jubilee Fountain

Location: Cowdenbeath, Fife, Scotland

On Jun 23rd 1897, a drinking fountain was erected in the High Street donated by the Burgh’s first Provost, Henry Mungall. Located near the tollhouse, it was erected to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. A need for better lighting in 1913 initiated an upgrade to the original lanterns.

The drinking fountain remained in situ until the mid-1940s when it was removed to enable widening of the road.

George Smith & Co.’s design number 5, which was manufactured by the Sun Foundry, was advertised as 14 feet 6 inches to the base of the centre lamp. The ogee style base supported a single pedestal structure seated on a two tiered plinth. The central block was edged with rope detail. Four pilasters framed decorative inlaid panels. Four demi-lune basins were flanked by drinking cups suspended on chains. Centre and above each panel, a lion mascaron adorned the capital. A solid domed roof supported a lantern finial with two additional lanterns on consoles.

Sun 5

Image provided by John P. Bolton, The Scottish Ironwork Foundation

Customization of this design was made to the dome with the addition of four dedication roundels with a left facing silhouette of Queen Victoria’s head.

Glossary:

  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal
  • Ogee, curve with a concave
  • 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.

Hythe Hill Fountain

Location: Colchester, England

Set into the wall between 87 and 88 Hythe Hill is a cast iron drinking fountain.

The font, casting number 17 (4ft 5 x 2ft 10) from Walter Macfarlane’s catalogue, was manufactured by the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, Scotland The design utilizes features of the canopy used in drinking fountain number 8, and is surmounted by a palmette finial. Griffin terminals flank a highly decorated arch outlined with rope detail which also encircles a medallion hosting the image of a rigged sailing ship representative of a Thames barge (most common vessel to utilize the Colchester harbour).

The recessed interior of the arch contains a shell lunette from which a tap once protruded. The original design contained a single drinking cup on a chain which was suspended above the fluted demi-lune basin.

An inscription within the arched faceplate has been obscured by layers of paint.

chbf

Used with permission, Philip Crummy. Source: http://colchesterhistoricbuildingsforum.org.uk/drupal/node/435

Glossary

  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • 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
  • Palmette, a decorative motif resembling the fan shaped leaves of a palm tree
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

Woodvale Park

Location: Woodvale Road, upper Shankill, north-west Belfast, Northern Ireland

Land purchased from Woodville House by Belfast Corporation was transformed into Woodvale Park. The park opened in 1888 with a bandstand and shelter. Two drinking fountains were also installed one at the front gate, and one at the back entrance to the park. Woodvale Park originally included a large pond which was filled in after World War II, and a children’s playground built in its stead. The fountain was replaced circa late 1950s or early 1960s with a bubbler type fountain with push button.

Cast iron drinking fountain number 8 from Walter Macfarlane & Co.’s catalogue was manufactured in the Saracen Foundry at Possilpark in Glasgow. The structure was 9 feet 6 inches high and consisted of four columns, from the capitals of which consoles with griffin terminals united with arches formed of decorated mouldings.

Rope moulded cartouches within each lunette hosted the image of a crane, and an open bible displaying a verse from St. John’s Gospel chapter 4 verse 14, ‘Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst,’ or optional memorial shields. On two of the sides provision was made for receiving an inscription using raised metal letters; whilst on the other two sides was the useful monition, Keep The Pavement Dry. Civic virtues such as temperance were often extolled in inscriptions on drinking fountains. The structure was surmounted by an open filigree dome, the finial being a crown with a pattée cross.

Under the canopy stood the font (design number 7) 5 foot 8 inches high. The terminal was a crane. The basin (2 feet 6 inches in diameter) which had a scalloped edge and decorative relief was 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 offered drinking cups suspended by chains. The fountain was operated by pressing a button.

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.

Glossary

  • 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