Category Archives: Cast Iron

Harlesden Golden Jubilee Clock/Fountain

Location: Harlesden, London, England

harlesden-mcd,s-1890--hurst

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.

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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:http://www.themoones.co.uk/nw10.html

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.

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Creative Commons License, Mike Quinn. Source: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2751729

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. 

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
  • 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
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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.

Glossary

  • 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.

 

Glossary:

  • 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

 


E.T.S.U. Original Fountain

Location: Johnson City, TN, USA

In 1911 the East Tennessee State Normal School was founded with Sidney G. Gilbreath as President, (a somewhat confusing term ‘Normal Schools’ were educational training schools for teachers). The establishment changed its name over the years as it evolved; East Tennessee State Teachers College, State Teachers College Johnson City, and East Tennessee State College until achieving university status in 1963 as Eastern Tennessee State University.

gilbreath hall

The top of the fountain is visible on the right between the tree and the building

The fountain which stands outside Gilbreath Hall has been in situ since the early days of the institution. The drinking wells were painted silver when it was restored circa 1950. It has been repainted or restored since.

ETSU 1950

The structure cast by J.L. Mott Iron Works is 7ft 8ins high with a base 2ft 7ins square. It consists of a square central column seated with attic base. Each of the four sides hosts a demi-lune fluted basin. The interior of a recessed arch is decorated with shell bas-relief and a dolphin mascaron from which water spouts. The tail of the dolphin extends outside the arch and is flanked by two nipple discs. A concave curve with decorative frieze and egg and dart molding sits beneath the capital which supports a triple stepped tier surmounted by an orb finial.

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
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Demilune, 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
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Mask/Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal

Dunscombe Testimonial Fountain

Location: Cork, Republic of Ireland

The fountain which once stood at the end of Shandon Street in Brown’s Square adjacent to the North Gate Bridge supplied drinking water to the north side of the city. The area served as a place for traders and vendors to sell their goods. The image below shows holly for sale dating it in the Christmas season.

The drinking fountain was donated in April 1883 to the Cork Corporation in memory of Reverend Nicholas Colthurst Dunscombe who was ordained in 1823, a leading Protestant clergyman, Rector of Temple Michael De-Duah, and a founding member of the Temperance Movement in the city. As an advocate for moderation in alcohol consumption a drinking fountain was a very suitable memorial.

1939

Circa 1939

A committee administered donations to fund the construction and erection of the fountain which was in situ from 1883 until 1935 when it was removed. There is no record of the reason for its removal or the whereabouts of its relocation.

The design was registered by George Smith & Co. and manufactured by the Sun Foundry. It was seated on a two tiered octagonal plinth. A compass cross base with canted corners supported a central pedestal and four columns decorated with diamond frieze and nail head molding. The font (design number 13) was a large basin with dog tooth relief on the rim, partitioned by four foliate consoles from which cups were suspended on chains. Shell motif spouts on each side released water flow.

A central column with engraved dedication supported an inverted umbrella-style canopy with highly decorated acanthus scroll work. The cornice was intricate open fret detail with four consoles supporting glass globes lanterns lit by gas. The dome consisted of eight panels rising to two bands; one of open filigree and the other engraved bas-relief. An ogee roof supported the lamp finial with crown and pyramid apex.

Sun_Airdrie 1867

Used with permission, John P. Bolton. Source: Scottish Ironwork Foundation

Glossary:

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration. It is symbolic of a difficult problem that has been solved.
  • 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
  • Compass cross, a cross of equal vertical and horizontal lengths, concentric with and overlaying a circle.
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Cornice, a molding or ornamentation that projects from the top of a building
  • Dog tooth frieze, pyramid shaped carving
  • Filigree, fine ornamental work
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Foliate, decorated with leaves or leaf like motif
  • Fret, running or repeated ornament
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Nail head molding, a series of low four-sided pyramids
  • Ogee, curve with a concave
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.

Victorian Fountain

Location: Skegness, Lincolnshire, England

A Victorian drinking fountain located outside the Natureland Seal Sanctuary and Wildlife Park in Skegness was originally erected beside a lamppost near the Hildred Hotel at the junction of High Street and Lumley Road in the late 19th century.

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Status 2009. Used with permission, John Bolton, the Scottish Ironwork Foundation

The fountain is design number 13 by George Smith & Co. manufactured by the Sun Foundry. The base is in the form of a compass cross with canted corners. It has a central pedestal and four columns decorated with diamond frieze and nail head molding which supported the font. The large basin has nail head relief on the rim and is partitioned by four foliate brackets from which cups are suspended on chains. Shell motif spouts on each side release water flow. The structure is surmounted with a chained orb terminal. The base is 2ft wide, basin is 2ft 9” wide and the height of the structure is 4’ 9”.

Glossary:

  • Canted corner, an angled surface which cuts of a corner
  • Compass cross, a cross of equal vertical and horizontal lengths, concentric with and overlaying a circle.
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Foliate, decorated with leaves or leaf like motif
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.

Kirkton Cross Fountain

Location: High Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

It is believed that the drinking fountain which was located outside the old cemetery gates at the area known as Kirkton Cross was installed between 1898 and 1905. Little is known regarding the history of this structure. It no longer exists, and the date of its demise is unknown. Maps from 1910 and 1936 identify the fountain in situ; it may have been removed during the renovation of Main Street in the late 1950s.

1908

Used with permission, Paul Veverka. Source: http://www.blantyreproject.com

Indistinct images on old photographs would appear to indicate that the drinking fountain was number 8 from Walter Macfarlane & Co.’s catalogue. It was 9 feet 6 inches high and was manufactured at the Saracen Foundry at Possilpark in Glasgow. The structure consisted of four columns, from the capitals of which consoles with griffin terminals united with arches formed of decorated mouldings.

In the standard design, rope moulded cartouches within each lunette hosted the image of a crane, and an open bible displaying a verse from St. John’s Gospel chapter 4 verse 14, ‘Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst.’ However, as customization was encouraged and photographs do not offer detail, there is no evidence to confirm what was contained within the the lunettes. (Several similar drinking fountains in Airdrie, Brora and Stranraer contain profile images of Queen Victoria.)

On two of the sides provision was made for receiving an inscription using raised metal letters; whilst on the other two sides was 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 with a lantern finial.

Under the canopy stood the font (design number 7), 5 foot 8 inches high. The basin 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 terminal was a crane.

Saracen #8

Design #8 advertisement indicates that any of the fountains can be supplied with a Lamp.

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.

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
  • Fret, running or repeated ornament
  • 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
  • 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