Category Archives: England

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

Melton Mowbray Golden Jubilee Fountain

Location: Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, England

I have been unable to find any images of this drinking fountain; however, according to the Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland the design would appear to be a modification of #27 from the catalogue of George Smith & Co. described as a drinking fountain and lamp combined. It was installed on the footpath at the Market Place in Melton Mowbray to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887.

Sun_ 27

 

Manufactured at the Sun Foundry in Glasgow, the installation was completed by local companies, C. Barnes, builder; John Anderson, plumber & glazier; and the Melton Mowbray Gas Light and Coke Company. The pump was unpopular with local tradesmen who complained that children played in the water and threw water on the shop windows. It was removed to a local park named Play Close and later recycled during World War II to assist in the manufacture of armaments.

This octagonal shaped drinking fountain was a single pedestal with attic base that hosted a small trough at ground level for the use of dogs. Inset arched panels offered space for dedications, and the proposed design below includes a bas-relief profile of Queen Victoria. Two demi-lune basins were offered with drinking cups suspended by chains. Entablature with bolt consoles sat beneath an ogee cupola with panels of fleur de lys motif. The finial was a six sided glass pane lantern capped with a ball and spike finial. The image below appears to show a dedication inscribed on the base.

melton mowbray_jubileefountain

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
  • 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

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

 

Town Hall Fountain

Location: Bridgnorth, Shropshire, England

The 17th century Town Hall consists of a half-timbered building and a town gate. It was renovated to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Silver Jubilee, and at the same time a drinking well operated by pump, was replaced with a drinking fountain mounted on the wall.

Casting number 15 (2 ft 9 x 1ft 9) from Walter Macfarlane & Co.’s Saracen Foundry is a wall mounted drinking fountain with a fluted demi-lune basin. An arch faceplate, now blank, once bore the inscription “Keep the Pavement dry”. The interior of the arch contains a shell lunette from which a tap protrudes. Two doves represent the symbolism of the spirit drinking from the water of life. A single drinking cup on a chain is suspended on a decorative console.

flickr_eve2

Used with permission, Eve Parry. Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/12616079@N00/16382840639/

Glossary:

  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting