Category Archives: Saracen Foundry

Forest Hall Drinking Fountain/Trough

Location: Forest Hall, North Tyneside, England

A drinking fountain/trough/lamp combination originally located in the centre of the road near the Clousden Hill Inn in the village of Forest Hall was removed and missing for many decades. The earliest image of this drinking fountain/trough/lamp is dated 1900.

Local historian and photographer Jack Phillips began searching for the cast iron trough after seeing an old picture of the Clousden Hill Inn. From the original structure only the discarded horse trough was discovered in the North Tyneside Council yard at Springfield Park. Phillips wrote to the Longbenton Council with a suggestion that it should be reinstated. It was restored and installed in 1984 at the junction of Forest Hall Road and Great Lime Road not far from its original location. It no longer serves its original function and is utilised as a flower planter.

Design  #80 manufactured by Walter Macfarlane & Co. in the Saracen´s foundry, Glasgow was 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. Standing 12 ft 9ins high it consisted of a circular cast iron basin with broad rounded rim supported on legs cast in the form of horse hooves. The fetlock transitioned at the interface with the trough into an acanthus scroll motif. 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 with attic base supported a central fluted column and the option of a shield for inscription. 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). A bulbous form engraved with acanthus bas-relief demarcated the transition of the column into a lamp pillar (#30) supporting a central gas lamp (design #208) roofed in with scales of opal glass which allowed the lantern to cast the light downward. The terminal was a crown with lantern. Yoke maintenance arms were positioned beneath the lantern.

Glossary

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • 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
  • Bib valve, a valve controlling the release of a liquid
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Fluted Shaft, a long rounded groove decorating the shaft of a column
  • Stanchion, an upright bar or post providing support
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal
  • Yoke maintenance arms, the bars near the top of the street light which supported the lamplighter’s ladder

Rondebosch Fountain

Location: Capetown, South Africa

This fountain was briefly mentioned in a previous post entitled Distant Twins & Cousins which reviewed the same model in Loanhead, Scotland, and Mowbray and Simon’s Town both in the Republic of South Africa.

The drinking fountain with trough and lamp was donated to the people of Rondebosch by mining magnate Mr. George Pigot Moodie in 1891.

wikimedia_ccl Roche petersen

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rondebosch_Fountain_Detail.jpg. Creative Commons License, Roche Petersen

Located on a traffic island at the intersection of Belmont and Main Road in the centre of Rondebosch it is recognized as the first electric street light in the area it was declared a national monument on the 10th of April 1964.

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In 2011 the Groote Schuur Community Improvement District together with other stake holders financed refurbishment of the fountain which had begun to deteriorate. Originally black and gold the paint colours were changed to the current heritage-green.

The structure was destroyed by a speeding car driven by an unlicensed drunk driver in 2015.

Heritage Castings, a restoration company based in Blackheath, which undertook the restoration of the fountain in May 2017 has funded most of the cost of repairing the fountain with the Simon van der Stel Foundation making a financial contribution. Established in Cape Town in 1990, Heritage Castings is one of a few remaining foundries worldwide capable of recreating original castings of this nature.

Many parts including the lantern were missing and were replicated with wood patterns by foundry pattern maker Steve Wood at the Cape Town foundry. The horse and dog troughs have been refurbished. The entire restoration is in cast aluminium as it is more durable and does not rust, therefore requiring very little maintenance.

Although the fountain which is being restored with the original colour palette was scheduled to be installed in 2019, national laws for donated items must go through a legal process which has caused a delay.

The drinking fountain is 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 lamp roofed in with scales of opal glass which allowed the lantern to cast the light downward. The terminal was a crown. The electric light was powered by Pigot Moodie’s own generator until the municipal power supply was implemented in 1892.

Glossary

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • 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
  • Rosette, a round stylized flower design
  • Stanchion, upright bar, post or frame providing support
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

Arboretum DrinkingFountain

Location: Walsall Willenhall, West Midlands, England

In 1870 the Walsall Arboretum and Lake Company was formed in order to provide the town with a public park. The Arboretum consisted of two boating lakes, two lodges, a boathouse, a bandstand, several summerhouses, a tree lined promenade, and lawns with formal bedding displays. The park was officially opened on 4 May 1874 by Lady Hatherton.

In June 1886 the Town Council installed a drinking fountain inside the lodge gates which was turned on by the Mayor, William Kirkpatrick, who drank the first cupful on 5th August.

I have discovered two photographs of a drinking fountain of the same style, but whether they are the same fountain is unclear. One image shows that it is located near the tennis courts which were opened in 1902.

This design was number 7 from Walter Macfarlane’s catalogue and was manufactured by the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow. Standing 5ft 8ins it featured a single pedestal basin with four pilasters rising from an octagonal plinth. Four salamanders descended the fountain pedestal as a symbol of courage and bravery.

Saracen #7

The basin, 2ft 6 ins in diameter, had a scalloped edge and decorative relief. The interior surface was engraved, and a sculptured urn was terminated by the figure of a crane, a symbol of vigilance. 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 allows 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

King Edward VII Fountain

Location: Dordrecht, Eastern Cape, South Africa

The memorial drinking fountain located in the grounds of the Anderson Museum was originally erected in Hofmeyr Square where it was presumably supplied with water from the Hogsett Reservoir. At some point in time the fountain was moved to the site of the Great War Memorial, in the gardens of the Dordrecht Municipal Offices. The structure deteriorated due to lack of maintenance until its care was transferred to Anderson Museum to be restored and repainted.

Design #80 manufactured by Walter Macfarlane & Co. in the Saracen´s foundry, Glasgow was 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.

Standing 12ft 9ins high it consists of a circular cast iron basin with a broad rounded perimeter rim upon which the manufacturer’s name is recorded in raised letters. Supported on four legs cast in the form of horse hooves, the fetlock transitions at the interface with the trough into an acanthus scroll motif. 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 with attic base supported a central fluted column. 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). Originally a bulbous form engraved with acanthus bas-relief demarcated the transition of the column into a lamp pillar (design #30) supporting a central gas lamp (#208) roofed in with scales of opal glass which allowed the lantern to cast the light downward. The terminal was a crown. Yoke maintenance arms were positioned beneath the lantern.

The column capital is presently surmounted with a light fitting of circular domed sheet metal cap supported on four curved round bar supports. The light fitting was kept separately within the museum; however, the glass lamp shade appears not to have survived.

A dedication is recorded in raised letters on a small curved rectangular cast metal plaque mounted on the lamp pillar. The dedication is transcribed; This Fountain Was Erected / By The Inhabitants / Of Dordrecht / To Commemorate The / Coronation Of His / Most Gracious Majesty, / King Edward The Seventh / 1902.

artefacts_inscription

Used with permission, William Martinson. Source: https://www.artefacts.co.za/main/Buildings/bldgframes.php?bldgid=14705

Glossary

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • 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
  • Bib valve, a valve controlling the release of a liquid
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Fluted Shaft, a long rounded groove decorating the shaft of a column
  • Stanchion, an upright bar or post providing support
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal
  • Yoke maintenance arms, the bars near the top of the street light which supported the lamplighter’s ladder