Category Archives: Memorial Drinking Fountain

Davis Memorial Fountain

Location: McMinnville, TN, USA

On a daily basis many people walk past the Hebe statue, located in McMinnville Public Square at the south side of Warren County Courthouse, perhaps unaware that this structure was originally a drinking fountain.

The cast iron drinking fountain was donated to the city of McMinnville by Laura Davis Worley and her sister, Florence Davis, as a memorial to their parents, Captain O.W. Davis and his wife Elizabeth. A committee formed by Laura Worley with city officials unanimously selected a three level fountain to accommodate horses, small animals and people. It was installed at the east end of the park at Court Square in 1914 and dedicated on Thursday May 20, 1915.

In 1999 members of Heritage Alliance, Main Street McMinnville and the Leadership McMinnville Class of 1999 began raising funds to save the structure from further deterioration. It was removed during the renovation of Main Street in 2005, and restoration of the fountain was undertaken by local man James McGaw, a mechanical engineer and metallurgist who painstakingly restored it by hand over a 2½ year period. In 2015, the centennial of the dedication was recognized by placing a wreath at the fountain.

A square base seated on an octagonal plinth, this structure originally contained four small basins at each corner for the use of dogs. At the front of the fountain is a dedication plaque located between two cornices, Under The Auspices Of / The Woman’s Civic League / 1914. Above is a fluted basin for human consumption, and in the rear is a large fluted horse trough. Three cusped arch side panels contain the head of a Naiad. (In Greek mythology, a Naiad was a female water nymph who guarded fountains, wells, and other bodies of fresh water.) The fourth panel in the rear is engraved; Owen Watkins Davis / Elizabeth Savage Davis / By their daughters / Laura Davis Worley / and / Florence Davis.

The capital edged with rope detail and acanthus frieze supports a short pedestal decorated with bas relief in the form of reeds and a crest. Two globe lanterns are supported by elaborate consoles. A classical statue of the Greek Goddess Hebe stands on an abacus. This standing female figure is based on the 1806 sculpture by Berthel Thorvaldsen. (The daughter of Zeus and Hera, Hebe is the Greek goddess of Youth and Spring, and proffers the cup of immortality at the table of the gods.)

Dressed in flowing robes gathered at the waist, her head is tilted down and to the left, and her hair is held by a headband or ribbon. Her left leg is bent and her weight is on her right leg. (This stance is called contrapposto, where one leg bears the weight and the other leg is relaxed.) She holds a pitcher with a lowered right hand beside her thigh and a cup in her raised left hand with her gaze focusing on it. A plate on the base of the statue identifies the manufacturer, J. W. Fiske.


  • Abacus, at the top of a capital, a thick rectangular slab of stone that serves as the flat, broad surface
  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • 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
  • Cornice, a molding or ornamentation that projects from the top of a building
  • Cusped Arch, the point of intersection of two ornamental arcs or curves, such as the inner points of a trefoil
  • Fluted, a long rounded groove
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.


Jubilee Lamp Fountain

Location: Ringwood, Hampshire, England

A cast iron drinking fountain situated in Market Place was constructed in 1887 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee.

It was refurbished in 1977, recorded as a Grade II historic building on 12 March 1987 and restored and repainted by JW Lighting Specialists (UK) Limited in 2013.

The design was registered by George Smith & Co. and manufactured by the Sun Foundry. It is seated on a two tiered octagonal plinth. A compass cross base with canted corners supports a central pedestal and four columns decorated with diamond frieze and nail head molding.

The font (design #13) is 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.

The highly decorated lamp pillar #13a is further enhanced with a crown and dedication plaque; Erected / By Public / Subscription / To / Commemorate / The Jubilee / Of The Reign Of / Her Majesty / Queen Victoria / 1887. Four consoles support additional lanterns lit by gas; the pillar is terminated with a central lantern.


  • 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
  • Dog tooth relief, pyramid shaped carving
  • Foliate, decorated with leaves or leaf like motif
  • 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
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.

Aberdare’s Jubilee Fountain

Location: Aberdare, Wales

A drinking fountain donated by Sir W. T. Lewis was installed at Commercial Place to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee (60 years) of Queen Victoria who was the head of a realm of 450 million people stretching across every continent.

The fountain was officially dedicated on 18 November 1897 by the wife of Sir William Lewis. It was a grand affair with bunting, drooping swags and flags decorating the area of Commercial Place. Members of the Aberdare District Council, tradesmen and the Aberdare Male Voice Choir were in attendance. Lady Lewis was presented with an inscribed gold cup from which she drank the first cup of water from the fountain. In honour of the occasion the area was renamed Victoria Square.

The structure most likely became obsolete due to advances in sanitation and the advent of the motor vehicle. It is believed it was stored in the council yard from which it disappeared.

Many ornamental iron decorations were destroyed after being requisitioned during the Second World War, as raw material for the war industries and to boost public morale. In Britain, the ill-considered scheme resulted in the unnecessary destruction of much of Britain’s ornamental street furniture, as the material was mostly unsuitable for use in manufacturing munitions and was consequently consigned to rust away in scrap yards around the country.

1890 flickr

1900 Facebook

Circa 1900

This cast iron structure manufactured by the Coalbrookdale Iron Company was seated on a rectangular plinth with rounded edges, and consisted of a trough with a drinking fountain centerpiece. A font centrally positioned split the trough into two animal trenches decorated with floral lunettes on panels.

A step to assist children was positioned beneath a demi-lune font on each side of the structure. A lion mascaron within a lunette spouted a continual flow of water into the basin which was then directed to the small troughs below for the use of dogs.

A bust of Queen Victoria was situated within four Corinthian columns with attic base extending from short pedestals with floral decoration. Directly above the abacus was a central fluted lamp pillar with two entwined dolphins at the base surmounted with a glass globe illuminated by a gas mantle.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Lions were acknowledged as guardians and dolphins are guardians of all things water related.


  • Abacus, at the top of a capital, a thick rectangular slab of stone that serves as the flat, broad surface
  • Attic base, a column base with two rings
  • Corinthian columns, a fluted shaft with flowers and leaves at the capital
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Fluted, a long rounded groove
  • Gas Mantle, a fibrous bag impregnated with minerals which offered a bright white light from a small flame.
  • Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
  • Mask/Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

Soldier’s Monument Fountain

Location: Weirs Beach, New Hampshire, USA

Loammi Bean, aged 37 years, left his home at Nestledown Farm in 1861 to fight with the Eighth New Hampshire Volunteers in the Civil War. He was one of the first men killed with the 8th Regiment at the Battle of Georgia Landing, Louisiana, on October 27, 1862.

A memorial combination drinking fountain and horse trough was donated to the town by Nellie Bean Zebley of New York to honour her father. It was located near the railway station in an area currently known as Lakeside Avenue (this area was used by Civil War veterans as a summer camp and became the New Hampshire Veterans Association Campground). The structure surmounted by the statue of a soldier was dedicated on August 29, 1894 in the presence of the Eighth New Hampshire Volunteer Regiment Association.

In a speech to the many dignitaries and spectators in attendance Mrs. Zebley stated;
“…It is now nearly thirty years since the smoke of battle passed away and those who were left of our brave soldiers returned to their different homes, to parents, wives, children and sweethearts. But, alas, my father was left in an unknown grave….

…My father’s memory has always been sacred to me and to see you all here today makes me proud to think my father was your comrade and with you he rallied around the old flag. To erect this fountain to my father’s memory and present it to the 8th New Hampshire has been one of my happiest anticipations. It is yours, and intended to be a monument to the brave boys of New Hampshire. May God bless you all and may it be my pleasure to meet the veterans, one and all, for many years to come.” Laconia Democrat, Friday August 31, 1894.

The fountain was moved 40 or 50 feet to the east circa 1924. It is unclear whether it was relocated prior to or due to the great Weirs Beach fire on Nov. 9, 1924 that destroyed the nearby 3rd Regiment Building and a dozen other structures including the New Hotel Weirs. To read more of this devastating fire,

On July 23, 1931 the statue was destroyed by a lightning strike as reported by the Laconia Citizen; “…the head of the soldier was severed from the body, and shortly after the entire statue toppled into the street. Only one leg of the cast iron figure was left standing. Spectators availed themselves of the opportunity of collecting an arm, a hand or some portion of the statue. The head has disappeared, and just who added that to his collection, is not known.”

Reports identify the shattering and disappearance of the statue and the bronze dedication plaque; however, there is no information whether the fountain was also destroyed, or removed sometime later due to redundancy. In 1978 a local Warren couple discovered the plaque in the cellar of their property. It now resides in the Goss Reading Room in the Lakeport Library as part of an exhibit highlighting the monument and its history.

The cast iron structure manufactured by J. L. Mott Iron Works was seated on an octagonal base with chamfered corners. Four small basins at ground level allowed dogs to drink. Two large fluted troughs to quench the thirst of horses and cattle alternated with two demi-lune fluted basins for human consumption. Anchored adjacent to the basin were drinking cups suspended on chains which were filled from dolphin mascaron spouts (dolphins are symbolic of guardians of water).

A second tier of panels displayed cartouches containing an orb surrounded by flourish. The capital supported four panels bound with highly decorated pilasters. Three sides displayed the orb design and a fourth contained an inscription of the dedication; Presented To The City / By Mrs. John F. Zebley / In Memory Of / Her Father / Loammi Bean / Eight Regiment N.H. Vols. / Killed In Battle / At Tigonsville, LA / October 27th 1862.


Used with permission. Source:

The structure was surmounted by the statue of a Civil War soldier standing contrapposto. Leaning on a rifle-musket, he rested his hands on the barrel of the weapon.


  • 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.
  • Chamfer, a beveled edge
  • Contrapposto, stance where one leg bears the weight and the other leg is relaxed
  • 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

Thank you for visiting my blog.  As of 2019 the database is approaching 400 posts identifying cast iron drinking fountains located around the world. To search for a specific item use the Search Box by entering a relevant detail e.g. city, memorial name, etc. The blog can also be searched using the Category Box which offers a search by country, foundry, historic registers, etc.

Wall Inset Models – Saracen #17

Location: Eire and England

The font, casting number 17 (4’5” x 2’10”) 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 detail which also encircles a medallion hosting the image of a crane. The recessed interior of the arch contains a shell lunette from which a tap protruded. A single drinking cup on a chain was originally suspended above a fluted demi-lune basin.

Sometimes, no matter how much I research, there is little information available online. Such is the case with the following drinking fountains.

The fountain at Athlone Railway Station in Ireland has been neglected as evidenced by rust and the missing medallion.

A pair of drinking fountains set into the wall at Viking Bay in Broadstairs, Kent, England, also show rust. The crane medallion is still in place.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Griffins are symbolic of guardians of priceless possessions, and cranes, recognized as a symbol of vigilance, 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.

broadstairs_geograph paul harrop

Creative commons license, Paul Harrop. Source:

The following examples are the same model; however, the medallion has been customized.

A drinking fountain embedded into a wall at the entrance to the Old School Tea Room car park in Falstone, Northumberland, England, was installed to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. The standard crane medallion was replaced with the left facing profile of Queen Victoria.

The medallion in a polished and lacquered version of design #17 hosts a lion passant guardant meaning it is walking while looking towards you (on guard). I have been unable to find a similar heraldic image to explain this customization. The item was sold in 2009 by an auction house following salvage from a Wimbledon home in England.

wimbledon sif

Source: Scottish Ironwork Foundation


  • 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


Stowmarket Council School Memorial Drinking Fountain

Location: Stowmarket, Suffolk, England

A cast iron structure located just inside the War Memorial gates on Finborough Road was purchased as a memorial to past students who gave their lives during the First World War. The drinking fountain was installed in the Recreation Ground opened on 1 May 1920 by Mr. George Ormes, chairman of the Stowmarket Urban District Council’s War Memorial Committee.


In 1961 Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to Suffolk included an exhibition of local industry, arts, crafts and agricultural produce in the Recreation Ground at Stowmarket. To provide ease of access to the Queen’s vehicle the fountain was moved to the western corner of the park. It was not returned to its original location until 2007 following restoration of the structure.

The drinking fountain was recorded as a Grade II historic listed building on 20 February 2017.

The 6’ 2” drinking fountain, design number 18, was manufactured by Walter Macfarlane’s Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, Scotland. Seated on a two tiered square plinth, it has a wide base in the form of a St. Andrew’s cross with canted corners, on which is set a circular shaft ornamented with water lilies. Four lion jambs support four highly decorated quatrefoil basins. Three sides of the central obelisk contain swan and bird relief. The fourth side contains a dedication; This Drinking Fountain / Was Presented / To The Town Of / Stowmarket / By The Children Of The / Adjacent Senior Council / School In Memory Of / Those Old Scholar s/ Who Made The / Supreme Sacrifice / In The Great War / 1914-18. A kylix-shaped vase terminal with four consoles originally offered drinking cups suspended by chains.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Griffins are symbolic of guardians of priceless possessions; lions are symbolic of guardianship; owls are symbolic of guardians of the afterlife, and eagles represent immortality.


  • Canted corner, an angled surface which cuts of a corner
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Jamb, a projecting vertical post containing sculpture
  • Kylix, a Grecian style drinking cup
  • Obelisk, a tall, four-sided, narrow tapering monument which ends in a pyramid-like shape at the top
  • 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, upright bar or post providing support
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal