Market Square Fountain

Location: Galashiels, Scottish Borders, Scotland

A drinking fountain/horse trough structure erected in 1882 and originally located in Market Square was removed in 1920 to accommodate the creation of a bus station.

The fountain was relocated to Tweed Crescent in 1933 where the base which included the drinking basins was encompassed in masonry, and the gas lantern atop the fountain was converted to electricity.

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Tweed Crescent electric light

Repair was scheduled by the Scottish Borders Council in 2011 to remove decades of deterioration due to rust. During removal of the masonry, the drinking basins originally attached to the light source were revealed. Repair of the lamp post then became a restoration project made possible with the assistance of Old Gala Club and the Scottish Borders Council’s (SBC) financed with pay parking money raised in Galashiels.

bordertelegraph

Source: Border Telegraph

The Ballantine Bo’ness Iron Company restored the lamp column and Sugg Lighting Company of Horsham (manufacturing company of the original triple lantern) was commissioned to recreate the light feature. A local company, Finlaysons, repainted the lamp post in red and gold.

 

The drinking fountain was created using lamp standard design number 28 offered by W. T. Allen & Co. of London. Three demi-lune basins were attached to a compass cross on each side of the square base into which lion mascarons spouted water. A large horse trough originally attached to the fourth side has been lost. Each basin is flanked with palmette and acanthus relief.

geograph Walter Baxter-font

Creative Commons License, Walter Baxter. Source: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2334458

A frieze of acanthus is situated beneath the capital upon which there is a lamp pedestal. Each corner of the pedestal contains an open mouthed griffin alternated with a sculpture of fruit. (Symbolism was popular in Victorian times; griffins represented guardians of priceless possessions). The lamp pillar with floral bas-relief extends into a banded, fluted column. The terminal is a candelabrum of 3 glass lanterns extending from elaborate consoles.

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Used with permission, John P. Bolton, Scottish Ironwork Foundation

A small plaque on the base is inscribed with the name of a supplier of gas fittings; J Milne & Son, Milton House, Edinburgh.

Glossary:

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal
  • Palmette, a decorative motif resembling the fan shaped leaves of a palm tree
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Relief, a sculptural technique to give the impression that the sculpted material has been raised above the background
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

 

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