Parker Memorial Fountain

Location: Daylesford, Victoria, Australia

The drinking fountain/horse trough currently located at Vincent Street and Central Springs Road near the old post office is a replica of a 19th century structure originally erected at Burke Square at the intersection of Vincent and Albert Streets.

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Source: Facebook/DaylesfordHepburnoldphotos

The fountain was donated to the town by Mr. George W. Parker, Mayor of the Borough, in commemoration of his year of office. It was obtained through Messrs. John Dank & Son, Melbourne, and delivered by ship from England. The 15 feet high structure was formally presented on 17 June 1891.

In 1914 complaints were made by carters due to a lack of water flow which was not enough to allow horses to drink. It was discovered that this issue was caused when several teams of horses drank in succession. A ball tap was installed to correct the problem.

The following year in March, the maintenance crew reported that the taps in the fountain at Burke Square were constantly being broken by children. An additional health issue of the cups hanging in the horse troughs resulted in the cups being removed. It is unknown when the drinking fountain itself was removed.

As part of the Daylesford Streetscape Revitalisation Project in 2012, a replica of the historical horse trough was installed at its original location in Burke Square.

The original drinking fountain was design #27 manufactured by Walter Macfarlane & Co. in the Saracen Foundry, Glasgow. The design was advertised as 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 6’6” diameter circular cast iron basin supported on legs in the form of horses’ hooves. The water was regulated by a small patent cistern, which was self-acting, and when the troughs were full the ball rose and shut the water off.

The central stanchion supported a central column with flared bases and pilasters. Four projecting consoles suspended cups on chains that allowed humans to drink from spouting water (the water flow was operated with two bib valves which released water when pressed). Horses drank from the large basin.

A dedication shield located directly above the consoles was adhered to the fluted shaft. The decorative capital, enriched with acanthus and rosette with a dog tooth frieze, supported a central gas lamp roofed in with scales of opal glass which allowed the lantern to cast the light downward. The terminal was a crown.

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Glossary

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Dog tooth, pyramid shaped carving
  • Fluted Shaft, a long rounded groove decorating the shaft of a column
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • 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.
  • Rosette, a round stylized flower design
  • Stanchion, an upright bar or post providing support
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

 

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