Category Archives: English 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

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

 

Chapel Hill Fountain

Location: Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex, England

The crossroads on the hill where the high road from London to Cambridge crossed with the one from Benfield End to Stansted Street once contained a traveller’s chapel. After many years it was replaced with a public house and a smithy. These buildings were later demolished leaving a clear area for the erection of a drinking fountain which was funded by subscriptions.

The fountain which still stands at the junction of Chapel Hill and Cambridge Road was erected on 12 May 1871, and the water officially turned on by Henry Gilbey, who with his brother Walter, were the major benefactors. A plaque is inscribed; This Fountain Was Originally Presented By The Gilbey Family In 1871. It was registered as a Grade II historic building on 9 September 1976.

The drinking fountain, number 8 from Walter Macfarlane & Co.’s catalogue, was manufactured at the Saracen Foundry at Possilpark in Glasgow. The structure is 9 feet 6 inches high and consists of four columns, from the capitals of which consoles with griffin terminals unite with arches formed of decorated mouldings. The structure was seated on a three tiered plinth of Portland Stone with the top step encased with Maw & Co.’s encaustic tiles.

Rope moulded cartouches within each lunette host the crest of Mountfitchet. The shield facing Turnpike Road displays an inscription; Stanstead Essex 1871. On two of the sides is the useful monition, Keep The Pavement Dry. Civic virtues such as temperance were often extolled in inscriptions on drinking fountains. The structure is surmounted by an open filigree dome, the finial is a crown with a pattée cross which was originally surmounted by a gas lamp with 3 burners.

Under the canopy stands the font (design number 7) 5 foot 8 inches high. The terminal was originally a gilded crane. The basin (2 feet 6 inches in diameter) which has a scalloped edge and decorative relief is 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 four drinking cups suspended by chains. The fountain was operated with bib valves which released water when pressed. The water supply was provided by Messrs. E. Hicks & Son Steam Mill.

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
  • Encaustic tiles, ceramic tiles in which the pattern or figure on the surface is not a product of the glaze but of different colors of clay.
  • 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
  • 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
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

 

Astley Park Fountain

Location: Chorley, Lancashire, England

The fountain located in Astley Park south of the stable block to Astley Hall, a stately home which now functions as a museum, was recorded as a grade II historic listed building on 21 February 1984.

Drinking fountain number 8 from Walter Macfarlane & Co.’s catalogue was manufactured at the Saracen Foundry at Possilpark in Glasgow. The structure is 9 feet 6 inches high and consists of four columns, from the capitals of which consoles with griffin terminals unite with arches formed of decorated mouldings (only two griffins remain).

Rope moulded cartouches within each lunette host the image of a crane. 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 is surmounted by an open filigree dome.

Although the finial is missing, this drinking fountain was most often supplied with the finial of a crown with a pattée cross.

Under the canopy stood the font (design number 7) 5 foot 8 inches high. The basin which has a scalloped edge and decorative relief is 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 missing terminal was a crane.

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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal