Author Archives: HIS

Bishopsgate Lost Fountain

Location: London, England

This post is related to a ‘lost’ drinking fountain once located in the area of Bishopsgate in London. There were several drinking fountains located near or on the railings of St. Botolph church, and two of them were donated by Charles Gilpin M.P.

A record sourced from Historic England listing 1359170: Drinking Fountain 1866; 2 stone piers flanking entrance to churchyard from Bishopsgate. Stone with pink granite bands and bowls beneath niches decorated with masks. Brass fittings. South fountain reads “The Gift of the Churchwardens 1866” on side elevation. North fountain reads “The Gift of C Gilpin Esq MP. 1866”

The cast iron drinking fountain which no longer exists  was located in close proximity to the parish church of St Boltoph (I have been unable to discover the specific location). It was presented by Mr. Charles Gilpin M.P. on Wed 11thJuly 1860 to the ward of Bishopsgate in which he resided. Mr. Metcalfe Hopgood of the Common Council took the first draught of water and proposed the health of her Majesty Queen Victoria.

Gilpin was a Quaker and a publisher who was involved in radical politics. He campaigned for parliamentary, economic and land reform as well as the abolition of slavery and capital punishment. The gift of a drinking fountain to encourage the abstinence of alcohol and give an alternative to the thirsty passersby was an acknowledgment to his membership in the Temperance movement which he joined as a youth.

The fountain was cast by Coalbrookdale Company of Shropshire from a design by William and Thomas Wills of Suffolk. The brothers were noted sculptors in the mid 19th. century and best known for their designs of drinking fountains.

1347420-engraving-depicting-the-drinking-fountain-in-bishopsgate

The cast iron frame was in the form of a stylized shield with curved and winged edges. The top part of the shield, in the form of an ogee arch, contained a sculpture of winged cherubs resting upon clouds. The design offered a legend beneath the cherub, He Opened The Rock And / The Waters Gushed Out / They Ran In The Dry Places / Like A River / Psalm CV 41.

A recessed round arch contained the drinking well and the name of the sculptors, Wills Brothers Sculpt London. Water was dispersed into the basin via a spigot concealed behind a clam shell decoration situated in the interior of the arch. Two cups were suspended on chains on each side of the arch. The foundry’s name is engraved on the edge of the basin, Coalbrookdale Co.

Each side of the arch was decorated with reeds and foliage. On the left side was a robed male figure with long beard standing contrapposto. In his left hand was a rod resting on the cusp of the arch. This was a depiction of Moses striking the rock to release gushing water. On the right of the drinking well was the robed figure of a woman offering a basin of water to a naked child.

Below is an example of the same design still in existence in the town of Hythe in Kent.

wikipedia

Circa 2012. Creative Commons License, Nilfanion. Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Water_fountain_in_Hythe.jpg

Glossary:

  • Contrapposto, stance where one leg bears the weight and the other leg is relaxed
  • Ogee arch, an arch with a concave apex

 

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W.C.T.U. Strasburg Fountain

Location: Strasburg, Pennsylvania, USA

On February 5, 1900 a request to erect a drinking fountain for Man, Beast and Dog at the center of the intersection of Main Street and Decatur Street Centre Square was granted by the council to the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. The fountain, funded by subscriptions, was erected on June 13, 1900 and the dedication ceremony took place on June 29, 1900.

 

Almost two decades later, the fountain was damaged when a heavy wagon collided with it and water service was discontinued. It remained in situ for several years until it was decided that it was an obstacle to increased vehicle traffic. It was removed during the week of July 3-7, 1922. This allowed trolley tracks which had to be curved around the fountain (for the opening of the trolley line between Lancaster and Strasburg) to be re-laid in a straight line through the square.

strasburg heritage society2

Source: Strasburg Heritage Society

The manufacturer of the cast iron drinking is unknown. The overall structure resembles a fountain in Slatington PA, identified by the National Register of Historic Places as manufactured by E. T. Barnum Company of Detroit, Michigan; yet the Strasburg fountain also bears a strong resemblance to castings created by J. L. Mott Iron Works of New York.

The fountain seated on a limestone base weighed approximately 2,500 pounds. The two tiered octagonal pedestal decorated with bands of foliate frieze and horizontal reeding supported a large gadrooned trough for the use of horses. A small trough was located at ground level for dogs and smaller animals.

Capture horse

Photograph compliments of Fred Lauzus

A spigot projected from a bas-relief rosette supplied water to a fluted basin for human consumption. A dedication plaque was attached above the rosette; Erected By The Efforts Of The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, 1900.

 

 

A cornice of egg and dart moulding was located beneath the capital which supported an urn flanked by two elaborate consoles originally supporting tear drop shaped electric globes. The urn appears to be a modification of a casting offered by J.L. Mott. A rod with three additional lamps extended from the highly decorated urn capped with a pineapple finial (symbolic of friendship and hospitality).

Capture urn

Note: I would like to thank Fred Lauzus for sharing his research and success in his long term goal of recreating this ‘lost’ drinking fountain.

Glossary

  • 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
  • Cornice, a molding or ornamentation that projects from the top of a building
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Egg and dart, a carving of alternating oval shapes and dart or arrow shapes
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Fluted, a long rounded groove
  • Foliate, decorated with leaves or leaf like motif
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Gadrooning, a decorative motif consisting of convex curves in a series
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Reeding, a regular series of concave grooves or convex ridges
  • Rosette, a round stylized flower design
  • Spigot, a device that controls the flow of liquid

 


Gayasuta Fountain

Location: Sharpsburg, PA, USA

H. J. Heinz, a member of the Temperance movement and extremely unforgiving of those who drank alcohol, donated a cast iron drinking fountain in 1896 surmounted by the statue of an Indian. It was installed at the intersection of Main and North Canal Street currently the heart of the Sharpsburg Central Business District.

The statue represents Guyasuta, a strong warrior and skilled hunter who was also a Seneca Indian chief that resided in the area in the 1700’s. He was chosen by George Washington to be a hunter guide with his party in 1753.

The fountain was struck by a vehicle in 1930 destroying the statue which required a copy to be cast using the original mold. In 1983 the fountain was once again struck by a truck causing damage to the statue. The Indian chief now in his third resurrection was cast by Eleftherios Karkadulias of Karkadoulias Bronze Art Company of Cincinnati.

The original fountain was manufactured by J. L. Mott Iron Works of New York. The structure was seated on an octagonal stone plinth. It consisted of a single pedestal with attic base and canted corners surmounted by a bronze statue of an Indian Chief.

3-JL Mott_Indian

 

The fountain supplied water to horses, humans and dogs via dolphin mascarons. Eight arched cornices contained dolphin masks which are symbolic of guardians of water. Two of the mascarons spouted water into demi-lune fluted basins for human consumption. Drinking cups were suspended by chains. Horses drank from two large demi-lune fluted troughs from which overflow water fed four smaller basins on each corner for the refreshment of smaller animals. A plaque between the dog troughs was inscribed with the maker’s name, The J.L. Mott/Iron Wks. N.Y.

An attic base supported a short column containing 4 inset panels bounded by pilasters. Four panels offered bas-relief with the option of a dedication plaque.

The capital supported the statue of an Indian which was modelled from an original wood carving created by Samuel Anderson Robb who was the leading cigar store Indian peddler. It was carved for William Demuth & Co. who cast it in zinc and advertised it in his catalog as “No. 53 Indian Chief.” In 1873, the J.L. Mott Iron Works purchased the design and listed it in their catalog of statuary. In his right hand the Indian Chief holds an arrow, and in his left hand he holds a bow attached to a base near his left foot, which rests on a rock. (This stance is called contrapposto, where one leg bears the weight and the other leg is relaxed.) A tree stump behind his right leg balances the sculpture. He is dressed in a headband containing three feathers, a bear claw necklace, a cloak, a breechcloth (fabric tucked into a belt that covered the front and back), fringed leggings and moccasins.

Glossary

  • 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
  • Canted corner, an angled surface which cuts of a corner
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Cartouche, a structure or figure, often in the shape of an oval shield or oblong scroll, used as an architectural or graphic ornament or to bear a design or inscription.
  • Contrapposto, stance where one leg bears the weight and the other leg is relaxed
  • Cornice, a molding or ornamentation that projects from the top of a building
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Fluted, a long rounded groove
  • Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal
  • 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.

 


Parkesburg Fountain

Location: Parkesburg, Chester County, Pennsylvania, USA

In 1905 a fountain/horse trough was installed by Parkesburg Business Men’s Association on the north side of the railroad tracks at Main Street and Strasburg Road adjacent to the National Bank. Horses were tied to it while owners shopped on Main Street.

The fountain was removed due to decline of use and the advent of the automobile. A memorial to local WW1 veterans was erected in its stead on Independence Day 1924.

Irvine Guest, a member of the Parkesburg Business Men’s Association took ownership of the fountain and placed it in storage. In 1955 the fountain was visible in the garden of Viola Hawk with a fresh coat of paint furnished by Ross Pierce.

The fountain reappeared on a brick base at the intersection of Main Street and Strasburg Avenue directly across the street from Rocco’s and Anna’s fine Italian restaurant. It was refurbished by Jeff Hery in the 1990s and disappeared in the summer of 2009. This historical artifact was removed during a dispute with the local government and is the personal property of a local resident who resides on the outskirts of town at East First Avenue.

This drinking fountain/horse trough is a modification of a drinking fountain with lamp manufactured by M.D. Jones of Boston, Massachusetts. Seated on a square block with a small basin for dogs, this fountain is shaped in the form of an urn. It was seated on a square base with a fluted pedestal which supported a wide basin decorated with foliate frieze and a fluted cornice. Water was delivered via the mouths of lion mascarons on the short fluted pillar. The structure was terminated with an orb.

Glossary:

  • Cornice, a molding or ornamentation that projects from the top of a building
  • Fluted, a long rounded groove decorating the shaft of a column
  • Foliate, decorated with leaves or leaf like motif
  • 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
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue

Hebburn Park Fountain

Location: Hebburn, Tyne and Wear, England

20 acres of land surrounding Hebburn Hall was used as a public park from 1897 until 1920. The land south of the Hall was then gifted to the town by Ralph Carr Ellison as a gesture after the safe return of his son from World War One. It was renamed Hebburn Park, and later renamed Carr-Ellison Park.

A drinking fountain erected at a junction of winding paths was still in existence in 1916 as identified on an ordnance survey map from 1916-17. It is unknown when or why it was removed.

With little historical information on the fountain the installation date is unknown, and therefore the manufacturer is uncertain. The original design was a Sun Foundry pattern later bought by the Lion Foundry when Sun closed business.

canmore

An example of the same pattern in which the basins are more visible

The fountain (design number 41) was 12 ft 8 ins high and stood on a two tiered square plinth. The central column was decorated with palmette and acanthus relief.

Quatrefoil basins were supported by a square base with chamfered corners. Panels above each basin were decorated with floral relief divided into sections by a compass cross. The centre circle contained a lion mask with self-closing tap from which water spouted.

The capital supported a multi level acroter surmounted by the life size figure of a woman (Greek water carrier) dressed in flowing robes holding an olive branch in her left hand while supporting an urn on her head with her right hand.

Glossary

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Acroter, flat base
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Chamfered, a beveled edge connecting two surfaces
  • Compass cross, a cross of equal vertical and horizontal lengths, concentric with and overlaying a circle.
  • Palmette, a decorative motif resembling the fan shaped leaves of a palm tree
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests
  • Quatrefoil, a type of decorative framework consisting of a symmetrical shape which forms the overall outline of four partially-overlapping circles of the same diameter

 

 

 

Glossary:

 


People’s Park Drinking Fountain

Location: Grimsby, Lincolnshire, England

The drinking fountain identified in this blog was located in the People’s Park in Grimsby in the late 19th century and no longer exists. My research uncovered single line references to two drinking fountains within the park; in 1889 a drinking fountain was erected paid for by public subscription; and the erection of a drinking fountain in Grimsby Park on 23 May 1884. Contact made with North East Lincolnshire Council also produced no results.

pinterestGrimsby

Design number 19 was advertised by Walter Macfarlane & Co. to be used as a standalone fountain or placed under a canopy structure. Manufactured by the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, the 10’ 10” structure was seated on an octagonal plinth. It had a wide base with canted corners supporting a circular shaft ornamented with water lilies. Four lion jambs supported four highly decorated quatrefoil basins. The stanchion and central column were decorated with floral relief and projecting acanthus.

The column contained a shield with a dedication inscription, and four consoles protruding from the column to suspend drinking cups on chains. Two elaborate consoles supported lamps. The capital supported the finial, a statue of Samson.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Lions are symbolic of guardianship and Samson is symbolic of strength.

Glossary

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Canted corner, an angled surface which cuts of a corner
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Jamb, a projecting vertical post containing sculpture
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests
  • Quatrefoil, a type of decorative framework consisting of a symmetrical shape which forms the overall outline of four partially-overlapping circles of the same diameter
  • Stanchion, an upright bar or post providing support

 


Diamond Jubilee Fountain

Location: Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire, Wales

This drinking fountain was installed in 1897 in commemoration of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. It was originally located near the Astoria Cinema in Charles Street. During refurbishment of the cinema, the fountain was relocated and is currently set into a stone pedestal on the walkway to the Town Hall.

The font, casting number 17 (4ft 5 x 2ft 10) from Walter Macfarlane’s catalogue, was manufactured by the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, Scotland. The design utilizes features of the canopy used in drinking fountain number 8, and is surmounted by a palmette finial. Griffin terminals flank a highly decorated arch outlined with rope and drip fret detail which also encircles a medallion containing a dedication in bas-relief; Erected In The / Sixtieth Year / Of / H.M. / Queen Victoria’s / Reign / 1897. The recessed interior of the arch contains a shell lunette from which a tap once protruded. A single drinking cup on a chain was suspended above a fluted demi-lune basin.

 

Glossary

  • Bas-relief, sculpted material that has been raised from the background to create a slight projection from the surface
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • 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
  • Palmette, a decorative motif resembling the fan shaped leaves of a palm tree
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal