Category Archives: Saracen Foundry

Wallasey Drinking Fountains

Location: Wallasey, Merseyside, England

Harrison Park which was presented to the Town in 1896 by the Harrison family in memory of their parents is home to a unique cast iron drinking fountain. Manufactured by the Scottish firm of Glenfield & Kennedy Ltd. it was restored during regeneration of the park in 2003.

The pillar fountain advertised as model D34 has a square base with a Greek geometric design often associated with Alexander Thomson. Four panels edged with rope frieze contain lion mascarons and a sun/flower orb. One of the panels identifies the manufacturer; Glenfield & / Kennedy / Limited / Kilmarnock.

Four basins with scalloped edge are located beneath the lion heads which spout water. Drinking water was originally captured in tin cups and overflow water fell into the basin and was directed to small troughs at ground level for the use of animals. The capital supports a base with dog tooth frieze surmounted by a putto blowing a horn with a stylized dolphin resting at his feet. A new casting of this statue was created as part of the fountain’s restoration.

 

A second drinking fountain was located at the Pier Head tram terminus in New Brighton. Design number 19 was manufactured by the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow. Seated on an octagonal plinth, it had a wide base with canted corners supporting a circular shaft ornamented with water lilies. Four lion jambs supported four highly decorated quatrefoil basins. The stanchion and central column were decorated with floral relief and projecting acanthus.

The lamp pillar contained four protruding consoles which suspended drinking cups on chains. The column terminated in an elaborate design featuring two lanterns. Symbolism was popular in Victorian times and lions were symbolic of guardianship.


Glossary

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Canted corner, an angled surface which cuts of a corner
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Jamb, a projecting vertical post containing sculpture
  • 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
  • Putto, a figure in a work of art depicted as a chubby male child, usually nude
  • 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, an upright bar or post providing support

Esplanade Fountains

Location: Dunoon, Argyll & Bute, Scotland

On Marine Parade at Hunters Quay and Kirn there are two cast iron drinking fountain canopies. Although the canopy at Kirn has been restored both structures have lost original elements.

The structure at Hunters Quay is situated at James Street near Jim Crow Rock.
Three of four medallions are missing and the fourth contains a dedication shield. Only two of four original griffins remain, and the space beneath the canopy where the font once stood is empty.

The Kirn fountain is located between Kirn Brae and Stewart Street.

Photographs of the original structure show elements that are now missing such as griffins on each corner of the canopy, the finial at the top of the dome, and the font which has been replaced with a planter. A dedication plaque states, The Gift Of / The Directors / Of The Kirn Pier / 1877.

Within an image from 1899 the font beneath the canopy is #7 with a dog trough at ground level. Lion head medallions are visible and the structure terminates in a gas lamp finial.

Kirn_1899 Looking-South

By 1903 the font has been replaced with an enclosed pillar model.

Kirn_1903 Wikipedia (1)

The gas lamp holder no longer exists in 1907 and has been replaced with what appears to be the model of an owl. One of the lion medallions is missing.

Pictorial evidence between the years of 1907 and 1938 identifies that the structure remained to have a pillar font with owl finial atop the dome.

These drinking fountains, customized from design number 8 in Walter Macfarlane & Co.’s catalogue, were 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.

Rope moulded cartouches within each lunette host a lion mascaron and a dedication shield. 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, the finial was a gas lantern.

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 has 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
  • 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
  • Mask/Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Pilaster, a column form that is only ornamental and not supporting a structure
  • 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.

geograph

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.

Glossary

  • 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

 


Georgetown Fountains

Location: Georgetown, Guyana

On August 14, 1923 the Cenotaph was unveiled at the intersection of Main and Church Streets. This memorial replaced a cast iron drinking fountain erected in 1867 to mark the completion of the Water Works in 1866. The drinking fountain which was relocated to the green opposite St. Rose’s High School in Church Street, just a few hundred feet from its original location, no longer exists.

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 were 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.

PROMENADE GARDENS
A second cast iron drinking fountain is located in the Promenade Gardens. A dedication plaque states; Presented / to the city / of Georgetown / by / Mrs. L.C. Probyn / 1882.

The fountain is design number 13 by George Smith & Co. manufactured by the Sun Foundry. The base is in the form of a compass cross with canted corners. It has a central pedestal and four columns decorated with diamond frieze and nail head molding which support the font. The large basin has nail head relief on the rim and is partitioned by four foliate brackets from which cups were suspended on chains. Shell motif spouts on each side released water flow. The structure is surmounted with a chained orb terminal. The base is 2 ft wide, basin is 2 ft 9” wide and the height of the structure is 4’ 9”.

Glossary

  • Canted corner, an angled surface which cuts of a corner
  • 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
  • Compass cross, a cross of equal vertical and horizontal lengths, concentric with and overlaying a circle.
  • 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
  • Foliate, decorated with leaves or leaf like motif
  • 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
  • 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

Castro Square Fountain

Location: Candeias, State of Minas Gerais, Brazil

Candeias which literally means oil lamps was originally a small village within the city of Campo Belo. Drinking water was transported by hand from local streams, and when numerous requests to the city management for a supply of drinking water were ignored a group of local politicians initiated diversion of water into a water box and from there through pipes into the village. Taps to access the water flow were later installed in the square and surrounding streets.

In celebration of the village’s successful project without the assistance of Campo Belo city management, and to commemorate the strength of their commitment, a drinking fountain was purchased surmounted with a statue of Samson, a symbol of strength. The village people accessed this clean water source using cans and buckets often carried on their heads.

The drinking fountain is located on Avenue Dezessete de Dezembro in the gardens known as Monsignor Castro Square.

Design number 19 was advertised by Walter Macfarlane & Co. to be used as a standalone fountain or placed under a canopy structure. Manufactured by the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, the 10’ 10” structure is seated on a two tiered octagonal plinth.

It has a wide base with canted corners supporting a circular shaft ornamented with water lilies. Four lion jambs supported four highly decorated quatrefoil basins (one of the lion jambs is currently missing). The stanchion and central column are decorated with floral relief and projecting acanthus.

Four consoles protruding from the column originally suspended drinking cups on chains. The capital supported the finial, a statue of Samson.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Lions are symbolic of guardianship and Samson is symbolic of strength.

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
  • Canted corner, an angled surface which cuts of a corner
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • 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, an upright bar or post providing support

 


Fontana Sansone

Location: San Valentino, Pescara, Italy

The cast iron drinking fountain located at the base of the staircase leading to the church of San Valentino and Damiano is seated on a two tiered circular stone plinth. The date of its installation is unknown.

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The structure which was restored in 1989 is design number 19 by Walter Macfarlane & Co., advertised as a standalone fountain or for placement under a canopy structure. Manufactured by the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, the 10’ 10” structure has a wide base with canted corners supporting a circular shaft ornamented with water lilies. Four lion jambs support four highly decorated quatrefoil basins. The stanchion and central column are decorated with floral relief and projecting acanthus.

Four consoles protruding from the column offered suspended drinking cups on chains. The capital supports the finial, a statue of Samson with a drape tied at his waist, breaking free of the ties which bind his wrists. The square plinth upon which the statue stands is inscribed with name Samson and Walter MacFarlane & Co. Glasgow.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Lions are symbolic of guardianship and Samson is symbolic of strength.

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
  • Canted corner, an angled surface which cuts of a corner
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • 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, an upright bar or post providing support

Clones Jubilee Fountain

Location: Clones, Co. Monaghan, Northern Ireland

A cast iron canopy and drinking fountain located at the market area known as the Diamond was installed in 1897 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee which celebrated 60 years of her reign.

Circa 1965, a brewery truck reversed into it doing irreparable damage. Three of the four griffins which were positioned above each column were rescued and incorporated on top of a wall leading from Roslea Road to the Roman Catholic Church. Although the font basin still remained in situ in 1967, all remnants of the drinking fountain are now lost.

The canopied drinking fountain was 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 triple tiered octagonal plinth, the canopy was supported by eight columns with griffin terminals which were positioned over capitals with foliage frieze above square bases.

The highly decorated cusped arches were trimmed with rope mouldings which displayed lunettes with a profile image of Queen Victoria and a dedication shield; Erected By / Public Subscription / To Commemorate / The / Diamond Jubilee / Of / Queen Victoria / 1897. 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 offered decorative relief on the circular, open filigree, ribbed dome. The internal capitals were floral ornament. The openwork iron canopy was surmounted with a vase and spiked obelisk finial.

Under the canopy stood font casting number 7. The 5 ft 8ins high font was 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 was engraved with decorative relief, and a sculptured vase was terminated by the figure of a crane. Four elaborate consoles support 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; doves are synonymous with peace, and owls are symbolic of guardians of the afterlife. 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
  • 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
  • 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