Location: Lancaster, Lancashire, England
A park designed in the 1870s for John Williamson Snr. was further developed by his son and donated to the city in 1881. James Williamson Jnr., Lord Ashton, paid for further embellishments around 1904 and 1909 including the Ashton Memorial, a bandstand, the Greg Astronomical Observatory and an orangery/palm house (the bandstand and observatory no longer exist).
I can find no information on the drinking fountain that was located at the south end of the park near the lake. I am making an assumption that it was also installed between the years 1904-1909; the date on which it was demolished is also unknown. However, the double tiered plinth on which it stood still exists on the pathway (seems strange to leave it in-situ when it is an obstruction to traffic on the path).
The cast iron fountain was design #3 manufactured by the Sun Foundry, Glasgow, Scotland. Four columns with obelisk finials rose from a two tiered plinth to support a solid domed canopy. The finial took the form of a stylized urn from which rose a pilaster and orb. The interior column connectors to the dome were adorned with descending alligators and leafy decoration. Alligators were considered a symbol of evil and were hung from the ceilings of cabinets as a reminder of the mortality of humanity.
Arch faceplates with drip fret detail offered a flat surface for inscriptions in raised metal letters; civic virtues such as temperance were extolled on many drinking fountains. Lunettes above each arch offered tablets for dedications. An indistinct crest can be seen – perhaps the City of Lancaster’s crest.
A fluted pedestal with a wide basin (2 feet 8 inches in diameter) contained the statue of a putto holding an oar seated on an upturned urn. This design advertised as pattern #8 was identified as ‘boy with a paddle and urn’. Water was distributed via the urn and retrieved with a cup suspended on a chain. At ground level, a small trough supplied water to dogs, and a stamp identified Sun Foundry / Glasgow.
- Fret, running or repeated ornament
- Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
- Fluted, a long rounded groove
- Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
- Obelisk, a tall, four-sided, narrow tapering monument which ends in a pyramid-like shape at the top
- 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.
- Putto (plural is Putti), a figure in a work of art depicted as a chubby male child, usually nude