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