Category Archives: BrItish Listed Building

Faversham Town Pump

Location: Faversham, Kent, England

Before the arrival of a piped water supply in 1864, local households were dependent for their supply of water on pumps and wells. The first pump on the site of the Market Place next to Guildhall, provided by a local benefactor in 1635, was replaced by the present elaborate cow tailed pump in 1855.

FAVERSHAM_1900_books google

Circa 1900

Although this pump design is illustrated as #8 in the catalogue of George Smith & Co., the company did not exist until 1858, and it is therefore likely that the pattern was purchased from an existing iron foundry (possibly Dartford Iron Works; as the owner, John Hall, also owned a paper mill and a gunpowder factory in Faversham.)

Design #8 from the catalogue of George Smith & Co. was described as a drinking fountain and lamp combined. This octagonal shaped drinking fountain (cow tailed pump) is a single pedestal with attic base and inset arched panels which offered space for dedications. Entablature with bolt consoles sit beneath an ogee cupola with panels of fleur de lys motif. Yoke maintenance arms that originally supported the lamp-lighter are still in evidence. The original finial was a six sided glass pane lantern which no longer exists. The floral relief decorated column is capped with a ball finial. A small trough set into the base of the structure was for the use of dogs.

The structure was recorded as a Grade II historic building on 3 August 1972.

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Glossary

  • Attic base, a column base with two rings
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Cupola, a small, domed structure on top of a roof.
  • Entablature, moldings and bands which lie horizontally above columns
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Ogee, curve with a concave
  • Yoke maintenance arms, the bars near the top of a street light which supported the lamplighter’s ladder

Toll Green Pump

Location: Elie, Fife, Scotland

The cast iron structure at Toll Green in Elie often referred to as a drinking fountain was actually a cow tailed pump. It was erected in 1869 as engraved on the base; George Smith & Co Sun Foundry Glasgow 1869.

ELIE_1900s_flickr dodfather

Circa 1900. Used with permission. Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dodfather/6583802409/

 

This octagonal shaped pump is design #8 from the catalogue of George Smith & Co. The single pillar with attic base hosted 8 inset arched panels of which six were for dedication. Two panels were used for the water spout and the cow tailed lever. When the pump was no longer used to supply water, these were removed and replaced with blank panels. Entablature with bolt consoles sits beneath an ogee cupola with alternate panels of fleur de lys motif.

A single column supported a six sided glass pane lantern which was capped with a ball and spike finial. The lamp has been replaced with an open sphere and spike finial atop a column with floral relief. Yoke maintenance arms that originally supported the lamp-lighter’s ladder are still in evidence. A small trough set into the base of the structure was for the use of dogs.

In 2001 Elie and Earlsferry Community Council raised funds to refurbish the pump as a millennium project. Acknowledged as the only remaining example of this design in Scotland, it was recorded as a Category C historic building on 9 August 2012.

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Glossary

  • Attic base, a column base with two rings
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Cupola, a small, domed structure on top of a roof.
  • Entablature, moldings and bands which lie horizontally above columns
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Ogee, curve with a concave
  • Yoke maintenance arms, the bars near the top of a street light which supported the lamplighter’s ladder

Shildon Drinking Fountain

Location: Shildon, Durham, England

The 19th century drinking fountain located in Timothy Hackworth Park was donated by the Committee of the Old Shildon Workingmen’s Club for the enjoyment of the people of Shildon.

Erected in 1914, the canopied drinking fountain is 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 two tiered octagonal plinth, the canopy is supported by eight columns with griffin terminals which are positioned over capitals with foliage frieze above square bases.

1965

The structure was listed as a Grade II historic building on 24 February 1986. The structure deteriorated over time and the griffins were stolen.

2001

Photograph taken 13 March 2001 © Mr Alan Bradley LRPS

During refurbishment of the park in 2003, the drinking fountain was also restored. The highly decorated cusped arches are trimmed with rope mouldings which display lunettes with alternate images of cranes and optional memorial shields. The shields in this instance display the Royal George Engine, the first steam engine cheaper than horse power, which was designed by Timothy Hackworth, a pioneering railway engineer. A second shield is inscribed Presented / To The / Inhabitants Of Shildon / By The / Members Of The Old Shildon / Workmen’s Club / November / 1914. There is also a shield commemorating the mining profession which was predominant in the area.

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 offer decorative relief on the circular, open filigree, ribbed dome which is surmounted with a vase and spiked obelisk finial.

Under the canopy stands font, casting number 7. The 5 ft 8ins high font is 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 is engraved with decorative relief, and a sculptured vase is terminated by the figure of a crane. Four elaborate consoles originally supported 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. The cups were removed due to recurring epidemics of Scarlet Fever which spread quickly and was often fatal.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Griffins are symbolic of guardians of priceless possessions; lions are symbolic of guardianship; and doves are synonymous with peace. 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.

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Glossary

  • 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.
  • 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
  • Fret, running or repeated ornament
  • 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

 

Cleethorpes Drinking Fountain

Location: Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire, England

When the bucket fountain was removed from St. James Square in the 1970s, a canopied drinking fountain was installed in its place (unfortunately, I cannot find any information on the original location of this drinking fountain which was officially unveiled in 1869 by Mayor Edward John Bannister.) It was restored in 1977 and recorded as a Grade II historic building on 30 June 1999, and then delisted in November of the same year. It was removed and put into storage by North East Lincolnshire Council.

Drinking fountain number 8 from Walter Macfarlane & Co.’s catalogue was manufactured at the Saracen Foundry at Possilpark in Glasgow. The structure was 9 feet 6 inches high and consisted of four columns. Griffin terminals spouting water united with arches formed of decorated mouldings.

Four rope moulded cartouches hosted the Great Grimsby Coat of Arms comprised of a chevron between three boars’ heads, and two inscriptions Presented By The Mayor 1869, and Restored Jubilee Year 1977. The arches above two lunettes were inscribed with the useful monition, Keep The Pavement Dry. Civic virtues such as temperance were often extolled in inscriptions on drinking fountains. The structure was surmounted by an open filigree dome, the finial being a crown with a pattée cross.

Under the canopy this design usually contained a font with a crane terminal. However, the crane is not present in photographic evidence which probably means that it was either stolen or removed. The basin (2 feet 6 inches in diameter) which had a scalloped edge and decorative relief was supported by a single decorative pedestal with four pilasters and four descending salamanders, a symbol of courage and bravery. A central urn with four consoles offered drinking cups suspended by chains. The fountain was operated by pressing a button. Water also spouted from the mouths of the griffin capitals.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Griffins are symbolic of guardians of priceless possessions, salamanders display bravery and courage that cannot be extinguished by fire, and cranes are recognized as a symbol of vigilance.

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Glossary

  • 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
  • Console: a decorative bracket support element
  • Filigree, fine ornamental work
  • 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
  • Pattée cross, a cross with arms that narrow at the centre and flare out at the perimeter
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Pilaster, a column form that is only ornamental and not supporting a structure
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal