Monthly Archives: July 2018

Harlesden Golden Jubilee Clock/Fountain

Location: Harlesden, London, England


Known as the Clock Tower this structure located in the High Street was originally also a drinking fountain. It was erected in 1888 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee which had been celebrated a year earlier.

With the advent of the motor vehicle it became a traffic hazard; at least two trams derailed and collided with the clock which resulted in one of the four decorative arms being damaged. As a result, on 20th March 1939 the Clock Tower was relocated three metres from its original position to ease navigation in the area.


The basins no longer appear on images of this time period.

7-lamps_pinterest_1409The shape of the lanterns has changed and they no longer have crown terminals. Possibly due to the transition to electric light.

8-lamps2_pinterest_3145The image above shows that the lamps have been replaced again. The shape has changed and the glass is now frosted/opaque.

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The image above is from the 1950’s era. The lamps no longer exist and the structure has been painted red.

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Used with permission, John Moone. Source:

Circa 60s -70s and there is no weather vane visible.

The Jubilee Clock was recorded as a Grade II listed building on 23 Jan 1974. The tower was renovated in 1992 and again in 1997 when it was painted red, gold and black.

In 2014 the structure was temporarily removed as part of a £4.5 million regeneration project of the town centre. The Jubilee Clock, refurbished in its original colour scheme, was unveiled on 14 February 2015 at the new semi-pedestrian section of the High Street.

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The original structure manufactured by Steven Bros & Co. of London and Glasgow was seated on a square plinth with two dog troughs at ground level. Two large demi-lune basins protruded from the pedestal beneath which a dedication was inscribed: Erected by public subscription A.D. 1887. Directly above was the maker’s nameplate, Steven Bros. & Co. London & Glasgow.

An additional dedication on the base presumably refers to members of the committee that managed the project; C. J. Class Esq. Chairman / John Soper Esq. Treasurer / C. Coldney-Cary Esq. Sub / Jas Maxwell Esq. Committee / Wm. Orme Wedlake Esq. / Hon. Secretary

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Four dolphins at each corner of the stanchion created sections decorated with a shell pattern, floral relief and a crest above which were a crown and two rosettes. Two drinking cups were suspended on chains.


Creative Commons License, Mike Quinn. Source:

The capital supported a fluted lamp pillar with attic base. The pillar was decorated with swags, a shield bearing a cross and stylized flowers flanked by leaves. Four consoles offered a gas light source from a glass paned lantern the top of which was decorated with palmette relief and a terminal resembling castle turrets.

Four beaded consoles divided by a flower sat just beneath the four clock faces. Each clock panel was bound by fan spandrels. A gable roof was adorned by a spike at each peak and bas-relief of a crown in the pediment.

A closed urn with 4 knob pendants originally supported a weather vane with directional compass points and a directional arrow with butterfly wings.

Note of thanks and appreciation: I would like to acknowledge John Bolton from the Scottish Ironwork Foundation who brought my attention to this structure and who has been a welcome, boundless, source of information and assistance on many of my posts on items manufactured by Scottish Iron Foundries. 


  • Attic base, a column base with two rings
  • 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
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Fluted, a long rounded groove
  • Gable, triangular portion of a wall between edges of a dual pitched roof
  • Palmette, a decorative motif resembling the fan shaped leaves of a palm tree
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Pediment, an element in architecture consisting of a gable placed above a horizontal structure supported by columns
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.
  • Rosette, a round stylized flower design
  • Spandrel, the triangular space between two arches
  • Stanchion, upright bar, post or frame providing support
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

Clones Jubilee Fountain

Location: Clones, Co. Monaghan, Northern Ireland

A cast iron canopy and drinking fountain located at the market area known as the Diamond was installed in 1897 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee which celebrated 60 years of her reign.

Circa 1965, a brewery truck reversed into it doing irreparable damage. Three of the four griffins which were positioned above each column were rescued and incorporated on top of a wall leading from Roslea Road to the Roman Catholic Church. Although the font basin still remained in situ in 1967, all remnants of the drinking fountain are now lost.

The canopied drinking fountain was design number 21 (18 feet by 4 feet) from Walter Macfarlane &Co.’s catalog manufactured by the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, Scotland. Seated on a triple tiered octagonal plinth, the canopy was supported by eight columns with griffin terminals which were positioned over capitals with foliage frieze above square bases.

The highly decorated cusped arches were trimmed with rope mouldings which displayed lunettes with a profile image of Queen Victoria and a dedication shield; Erected By / Public Subscription / To Commemorate / The / Diamond Jubilee / Of / Queen Victoria / 1897. On each side arch faceplates provided a flat surface for inscription using raised metal letters; often the useful monition, Keep The Pavement Dry. Civic virtues such as temperance were often extolled in inscriptions on drinking fountains.

Doves and flowers offered decorative relief on the circular, open filigree, ribbed dome. The internal capitals were floral ornament. The openwork iron canopy was surmounted with a vase and spiked obelisk finial.

Under the canopy stood font casting number 7. The 5 ft 8ins high font was a single decorative pedestal with four pilasters and descending salamander relief supporting a basin 2 ft 6 ins in diameter. The interior surface of the scalloped edge basin was engraved with decorative relief, and a sculptured vase was terminated by the figure of a crane. Four elaborate consoles support drinking cups on chains. Water flowed from a spout into the drinking cup by pressing its edge against a projecting stud below the spout. The self-closing valve allowed for operation with only one hand.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Griffins are symbolic of guardians of priceless possessions; lions are symbolic of guardianship; doves are synonymous with peace, and owls are symbolic of guardians of the afterlife. Cranes are recognized as a symbol of vigilance and are often depicted standing on one leg while holding a stone in the claws of the other foot. Legend states that if the watchful crane fell asleep the stone would fall and waken the bird.


  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Cusped Arch, the point of intersection of lobed or scalloped forms
  • Filigree, fine ornamental work
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • 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
  • 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
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal


Promenade Plantée Fountain

Location: Paris, France

A drinking fountain design by Sir Richard Wallace known as the Small Model is often found in parks and public gardens throughout the city. Wallace was a wealthy English art collector and philanthropist who lived in France. When the Franco Prussian war damaged many of the aqueducts in Paris there remained little access to clean water for many of the most needy Parisians. His solution to this problem was the erection of public drinking fountains.

The Coulée verte René-Dumont or Promenade Plantée is a linear park built on top of an abandoned mid-19th century viaduct in the 12th arrondissement of Paris. The world’s first elevated park walkway which was inaugurated in 1993 is home to one of Richard Wallace’s Small Model drinking fountains manufactured by the Val D’Osne Foundry.

The fountain is a single pedestal with a square base decorated with bulrushes. Alternating panels display bulrushes and the coat of arms of the city of Paris. The capital supports a decorative finial. The design at just over 4 feet high is operated with a simple push-button mechanism to dispense water.



  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue