Category Archives: Saracen Foundry

Jubilee Fountain

Location: Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, Scotland

The drinking fountain canopy standing on a two tiered concrete plinth at Summerlee Industrial Museum was originally part of the drinking fountain installed in Dunbeth Park, Coatbridge to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887. The ornately decorated canopy was known as the Jubilee Fountain.

geograph

Creative Commons License, Colin Smith. Source: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1471807

The canopy was donated to Summerlee Heritage Trust by Monklands District Council Leisure and Recreation Department in 1989. It was restored by conservation engineers circa 1994-1996 and relocated to the Summerlee Museum. Many thanks to Jenny Noble, Social History Curator at CultureNL Ltd. who was very helpful in assisting with my research.

Design numbers 20 and 21 from Walter Macfarlane &Co.’s catalog were very similar, and with no pictorial evidence of the original structure including the finial and font, it is difficult to know for certain. However, John P. Bolton from the Scottish Ironwork Foundation is of the opinion that the design is #21 due to the fact that pattern number 20 was not available until the 1890s presumably for commemoration of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee of 1897.

Saracen #21

#21 from Walter Macfarlane &Co.’s catalog

Design number 21 (18 feet by 4 feet) was 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.

The highly decorated cusped arches are trimmed with rope mouldings which display lunettes with cartouches of a crane, a left facing profile of Queen Victoria and a dedication: Presented To The Burgh Of Coatbridge / By The / Building Trades / 22nd June / 1887. Directly above an arch faceplate provides a flat surface for inscription using raised metal letters; 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. The internal capitals are floral ornament. The openwork iron canopy was originally surmounted with a vase and spiked obelisk finial.

Under the canopy stood the font, casting number 7. The 5ft 8ins high font was a single decorative pedestal with four pilasters and descending salamander relief supporting a basin 2ft 6ins 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 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.

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.

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

 

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Rebekah Foord Memorial Fountain

Location: Strood, Kent, England

A memorial drinking fountain was unveiled on Coronation Day, 28 June 1864, on the Rochester Esplanade to commemorate the life of Mrs. Foord, a benefactor of the poor. It was funded by public subscription and remained on the Esplanade until 1906 when it was relocated to Rochester Castle Gardens. In 1912 it was transported to the Recreation Ground, Northcote Road in Strood where it remained until 1930. Its current whereabouts is unknown.

An article in the Chatham News described the celebration of the opening of the fountain and ended with a poem;
Rebekah’s Fountain
Behold! a humble monument, we lift
To acts of one , to whom fond mem’ry leans;
A Font of flowing water: ‘tis the gift
Of God; t’obtain which man but finds the means.

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

Rope moulded cartouches within each lunette hosted the city and arms of Rochester and the Foord family, 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.’ An inscription read; This Drinking Fountain Is Erected By Voluntary Contributions In Grateful Remembrance Of Mrs. Rebekah Foord Of This City Who During Her Life Was Foremost In All Works Of Usefulness And Kindness To The Poor. A.D. 1864 .

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, the finial being a crown with a pattée cross.

Under the canopy stood the font (design number 7) 5 foot 8 inches high. The terminal was a crane. The basin (2 feet 6 inches in diameter) 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 fountain was operated by pressing a button.

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
  • 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

 


Corowa Drinking Fountain

Location: Corowa, New South Wales, Australia

On 12 April 1907, a drinking fountain was purchased by Mayor Alexander Augustus Piggin at his own expense while at a conference in Sydney. The fountain was donated to the town to celebrate Corowa’s new water supply which was officially opened on 18th May 1907. It was located at the corner of Sanger Street and Deniliquin Road outside the Commercial Bank property.

The following year in December 1908 the fountain’s drinking cups were removed by children, and the police were notified of the vandalism. In 1922 the drinking fountain was moved to the kerb outside the Municipal Council Offices to facilitate the erection of a war memorial. The memorial incorporating a clock tower which became known as the Soldier’s Memorial was unveiled on 10 September 1922 to commemorate those who died in service during the two World Wars.

The fountain was again relocated in 1938 to the children’s playground at R. T. Ball Park. This move may have been initiated due to the 1937 sewerage scheme and the 1938 Main Roads maintenance programme.

The fountain is currently located at the entrance to the RT Ball Park Caravan Park although in a state of disrepair. The crane terminal missing from the structure resides in the Federation Museum. Also on display at the museum is a wooden water pipe used for the town water supply in the late 1800’s; it is made with two or more pieces of wood bound together with wire.

water pipe

Design number 7 standing 5ft 8ins from Walter Macfarlane’s catalogue was manufactured by the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow. It was seated on an octagonal base inscribed with the following legend; Presented By The Mayor / Alderman A A Piggin / At The Opening Of The Corowa / Water Supply On 18th May 1907

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Circa 1908

The drinking fountain features a single pedestal basin with four pilasters rising from an octagonal plinth. Four salamanders descend the fountain pedestal as a symbol of courage and bravery.

The basin, 2ft 6 ins in diameter, has a scalloped edge and decorative relief. The interior surface is engraved, and a sculptured urn is terminated by the figure of a crane, a symbol of vigilance. Four elaborate consoles once 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.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Salamanders represent bravery and courage that cannot be extinguished by fire, and cranes are recognized as a symbol of vigilance.

Glossary:

  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • 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

 


Paterson Memorial Clock

Location: Bridge of Allan, Stirlingshire, Scotland

The Memorial Clock and Drinking Fountain located on Henderson Street was erected in 1898 by public subscription to commemorate gratitude for Dr. Alexander Paterson’s service to the town.

Dr. Paterson was a doctor and Medical Officer of Health for the burgh in addition to being a Justice of the Peace. His realised dream of creating a health resort originated from his belief in the therapeutic waters in the area.

In June 1929, the two ton drinking fountain and clock was relocated a few yards west to allow for road widening. The structure was fitted with electricity in 1930.

Restoration of the structure was undertaken in 2009 with a fresh coat of green paint and gold leaf. The clock was refurbished by James Ritchie and Sons, Clockmakers.

Manufactured at the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow drinking fountain number 231 from Walter Macfarlane’s catalogue stands 20 feet high. Originally seated on a double tiered square plinth, the square pedestal with Egyptian patterned frieze, designed by Alexander ‘Greek” Thomson, offers a demi-lune basin. A spigot within the geometric pattern released water into the basin, and a drinking cup attached to a chain was suspended from a decorative console.

The griffin feet capitals support a four sided central stanchion heavily decorated with palmette and acanthus relief on three sides. The fourth side contains an engraved dedication; The Paterson Memorial / Erected By The Inhabitants Of Bridge Of Allan / And Others In Memory Of The Late / Dr. Alexander Paterson / Who Practised In This District For Upwards Of 50 Years / And Who Was Medical Officer Of Health For The Burgh / He Was Held In Universal Esteem / Being A Skilful Physician And A Kind Friend / 1898.

A fluted column with attic base arises from a highly decorated acroter. The structure is capped with a clock face on four sides.

Glossary

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Acroter, flat base
  • Attic base, a column base with two rings
  • 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 decorating the shaft of a column
  • 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
  • Palmette, a decorative motif resembling the fan shaped leaves of a palm tree
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.
  • Spigot, a device that controls the flow of water (tap)
  • Stanchion, an upright bar or post providing support

St. Leonard’s Square Fountain

Location: Wallingford, Oxfordshire, England

A cast iron drinking fountain replaced an ornamental pump which had been installed for use in the market place in 1835. The fountain presented to the town by Alderman Hawkins was of similar design to the fountain donated by Alderman Champion and erected in St Leonard’s Square in 1885. It no longer exists.

1908

Circa 1908 St. Leonard’s Square

The fountain in St. Leonard’s Square was design #31 from the catalogue of Walter Macfarlane’s Saracen Foundry in Glasgow. Seated on a circular stone plinth, the wide base was in the form of a St. Andrew’s cross with four lion jambs supporting four elaborately decorated quatrefoil basins for horses. The stanchion was decorated with bands of acanthus and alternating panels of cranes and swans.

Four consoles protruded from a circular fluted shaft to suspend drinking cups on chains. The standard design was offered with a round lamp.

Glossary:

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Fluted Shaft, a long rounded groove decorating the shaft of a column
  • Jamb, a projecting vertical post containing sculpture
  • 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

 


Castleford Diamond Jubilee Fountain

Location: Castleford, Yorkshire, England

Queen’s Park was created in 1897 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. The fountain was installed in 1898. The bandstand which was built in 1900 remains; however, vandalism precipitated the removal of the drinking fountain in the 1950s.

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

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,’ or optional memorial shields. 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, the finial being a crown with a pattée cross.

Under the canopy stood the font (design number 7) 5 foot 8 inches high. The terminal was a crane. The basin (2 feet 6 inches in diameter) 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 fountain was operated by pressing a button.

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
  • 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

 


Parker Memorial Fountain

Location: Daylesford, Victoria, Australia

The drinking fountain/horse trough currently located at Vincent Street and Central Springs Road near the old post office is a replica of a 19th century structure originally erected at Burke Square at the intersection of Vincent and Albert Streets.

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Source: Facebook/DaylesfordHepburnoldphotos

The fountain was donated to the town by Mr. George W. Parker, Mayor of the Borough, in commemoration of his year of office. It was obtained through Messrs. John Dank & Son, Melbourne, and delivered by ship from England. The 15 feet high structure was formally presented on 17 June 1891.

In 1914 complaints were made by carters due to a lack of water flow which was not enough to allow horses to drink. It was discovered that this issue was caused when several teams of horses drank in succession. A ball tap was installed to correct the problem.

The following year in March, the maintenance crew reported that the taps in the fountain at Burke Square were constantly being broken by children. An additional health issue of the cups hanging in the horse troughs resulted in the cups being removed. It is unknown when the drinking fountain itself was removed.

As part of the Daylesford Streetscape Revitalisation Project in 2012, a replica of the historical horse trough was installed at its original location in Burke Square.

The original drinking fountain was design #27 manufactured by Walter Macfarlane & Co. in the Saracen Foundry, Glasgow. The design was advertised as well suited for Street Crossings, Squares, Market Places, etc., as it afforded drinking accommodation for a large number of horses and drivers, and effectively lit a wide space, with the least possible obstruction to other traffic.

It provided a drinking trough for horses with small basins for dogs at ground level. The trough was a 6’6” diameter circular cast iron basin supported on legs in the form of horses’ hooves. The water was regulated by a small patent cistern, which was self-acting, and when the troughs were full the ball rose and shut the water off.

The central stanchion supported a central column with flared bases and pilasters. Four projecting consoles suspended cups on chains that allowed humans to drink from spouting water (the water flow was operated with two bib valves which released water when pressed). Horses drank from the large basin.

A dedication shield located directly above the consoles was adhered to the fluted shaft. The decorative capital, enriched with acanthus and rosette with a dog tooth frieze, supported a central gas lamp roofed in with scales of opal glass which allowed the lantern to cast the light downward. The terminal was a crown.

walking melbourne 

Glossary

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Dog tooth, pyramid shaped carving
  • Fluted Shaft, a long rounded groove decorating the shaft of a column
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • 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.
  • Rosette, a round stylized flower design
  • Stanchion, an upright bar or post providing support
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal