Monthly Archives: December 2018

Bridgeton Cross Drinking Fountain

Location: Bridgeton, Glasgow, Scotland

The most well-known and prominent feature of Bridgeton is the Shelter and Clock manufactured by George Smith & Co.

A purchase order was issued by the City Improvement Trust in 1873 to provide shelter from inclement weather in an open space created by the removal of buildings during the Slum Clearance. It was officially unveiled on 3 March 1875.

The shelter which proved popular became a meeting place for a variety of groups, and inevitably a refuge for the homeless population and addicts. Known locally as the Umbrella, it was recorded as a Class A Historic Building on 16th March 1993 and restored in 2007 by Clyde Gateway and Glasgow City Heritage Trust.

An article in the British Architect of 1874 reported that the 20 feet high shelter would offer a drinking fountain in each side. As photographic evidence is scarce it would appear that the only drinking fountain installed was in the street on the east side of the structure.

facebook SIF

Fountain is visible in centre of image. Image provided by the Scottish Ironwork Foundation, courtesy of John P. Bolton


Fountain is visible on the left

There is no record of its removal or the whereabouts of its relocation. It is possible that it was destroyed after being requisitioned during the Second World War as raw material for the war industries. It could also have been removed following a new understanding of waterborne diseases which caused Typhoid Fever and Cholera.

The drinking fountain, design number 10, cast by the Sun Foundry in Glasgow, was seated on an octagonal base. The single fluted pedestal supported the large basin (2 feet 8 inches in diameter) containing pattern #8 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. The structure was 5 feet tall.

Sun_#10_putto paddle



  • Fluted, a long rounded groove
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue