Category Archives: Saracen Foundry

Hickman Park Drinking Fountain

Location: Bilston, West Midlands, England

Sir Alfred Hickman owned local ironworks, collieries and a steel company. He also held positions in Wolverhampton Chamber of Commerce, the Mining Association of Great Britain, the British Iron Trade Association, the Board of Trade and was a Member of Parliament.

He promoted the creating of open spaces in Wolverhampton to aid the welfare of local people and following his death in 1910, he bequeathed the twelve acre Hickman Park to the people of Bilston. His wife, Lady Hickman who officially opened the park on 17 July 1911 donated a bandstand. A cast-iron drinking fountain to commemorate the Coronation of King George V was erected by public subscription.

1910 blackcountry2

Circa 1910. Creative Commons License, Black Country History. Copyright http://blackcountryhistory.org/

The canopied drinking fountain was design number 20, an elaborate 18 feet by 4 feet fountain, sold by Walter Macfarlane & Co, and manufactured at the Saracen Foundry, Possilpark, Glasgow, Scotland. Seated on a three tiered octagonal plinth, the open filigree canopy was supported by eight columns with griffin terminals which were positioned over capitals with foliage frieze above square bases.

The highly decorated drip cusped arches were trimmed with rope mouldings. Cartouches contained within each lunette displayed alternate images of cranes and swans and offered shields for memorial. On each side arch faceplates provided a flat surface for an 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, ribbed dome. The internal capitals contained flowers and statues of owls on enlarged column heads. The structure was surmounted with an eagle finial (#38, 2ft 10ins).

Under the canopy stood the font (design number 18.) A circular shaft, ornamented with water lilies, rested on a wide base with canted corners. Four lion jambs supported four highly decorated quatrefoil basins. Rising from the centre was a pyramid shaped stanchion decorated with swan and bird decoration. A kylix-shaped lamp terminal with four consoles 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; doves are synonymous with peace, and owls are symbolic of guardians of the afterlife.

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
  • 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
  • Jamb, a projecting vertical post containing sculpture
  • Kylix, a Grecian style drinking cup
  • Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
  • 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

 

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Tait Drinking Fountain

Location: Limerick, Eire

In 1866, Sir Peter Tait, founder and owner of the Tait Clothing Factory on Lord Edward Street (later renamed the Limerick Clothing Factory), erected an elaborate cast iron drinking fountain inside the factory as a source of drinking water for his employees. Tait was a benevolent citizen and Mayor for three terms, 1866-1868.

The subsequent history of the fountain is unknown, but at some point it was removed, retained as an historical artifact and erected in the Terence Albert O’Brien Park which opened in the 1940’s. O’Brien was the Bishop of Emly who was executed in 1651 after the city fell to Cromwell’s army. The public park is also known as Clare Street Park.

Drinking fountain number 8 from Walter Macfarlane & Co.’s catalogue was 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. It is seated on a two tiered square plinth.

The standard design of the rope moulded cartouches within each lunette contained 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.

An optional memorial shield contains the heraldic emblem of the Tait family crest; a gauntlet with embowed arm in riveted plate armour and a bare hand grasping stems of red roses and leaves. Above the lunette is the Tait crest motto, Gratiam dat Deus (God Give Grace).

limerickie

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 being a crown with a pattée cross.

Under the canopy the original font was design number 7 and stood 5 foot 8 inches high. The terminal which is now missing was a crane. The basin (2 feet 6 inches in diameter) which has a scalloped edge and decorative relief is 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
  • 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
  • Relief, a sculptural technique to give the impression that the sculpted material has been raised above the background
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

Edward VII Coronation Fountain

Location: Fintry, Stirlingshire, Scotland

In the early 20th century a drinking fountain was erected at the junction of Main Street and Kippen Road (known as the Cross) to commemorate the coronation of Edward VII in 1902. The benefactor was Walter Menzies of Culcreuch who also funded the Menzies Village Hall and Stewart’s School.

ebay

In 1986/7 the fountain was struck by a vehicle causing severe damage which initiated its removal to a residential garden while its future was decided. The offer to restore the fountain at a nominal cost by Broomside Foundry in Bonnybridge was eagerly accepted.

The fountain now located on a small traffic island is a customized design by Walter Macfarlane’s Saracen Foundry in Glasgow. It is seated on an octagonal plinth. The fountain is constructed with font number 18, a wide base in the form of a Greek cross with canted corners, on which is set a circular shaft ornamented with water lilies. Four lion jambs support four elaborately decorated quatrefoil basins. Symbolism was popular in Victorian times and lions are symbolic of guardianship.

An obelisk decorated with acanthus and floral relief rises from the center of the basins with four panels containing a swan engraving, and a shield identifying that the fountain was erected by Walter Menzies to celebrate the coronation of King Edward VII.

stirling2

The capital hosts four consoles which offered drinking cups suspended by chains. A short pillar is terminated with decorative yoke maintenance arms beneath a lantern originally lit by gas.

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
  • Greek cross, a cross with arms of equal length
  • Jamb, a projecting vertical post containing sculpture
  • 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
  • Relief, a sculptural technique to give the impression that the sculpted material has been raised above the background
  • Yoke maintenance arms, the bars near the top of a street light which supported the lamplighter’s ladder

 


Newbridge Park Drinking Fountain

Location: Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England

A drinking fountain erected in Newbridge Park in 1927 was donated by Wolverhampton Solicitor Robert Rhodes. It was demolished during the Second World War when a dead tree fell on it.

lostwolverhampton

Robert Rhodes is fourth from the left in the picture. Source: http://lostwolverhampton.co.uk/when-spring-water-was-on-tap/

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 an 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 alternate images of cranes and swans, or optional memorial shields. 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, and statues of owls on enlarged column heads. The openwork iron canopy was surmounted with a vase and spiked obelisk finial.

Under the canopy stood font casting number 7. The 5ft. 8ins. high font is 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; 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
  • 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

Victoria Park Drinking Fountain

Location: Keighley, West Yorkshire, England

Eastwood House which was located in extensive parkland became part of the estate bought by public subscription in 1891. Henry Isaac Butterfield who was a local mill owner agreed to be a major benefactor with the condition that the new park be named Victoria Park. It was officially opened on 6 July 1893.

Capture

Within each of the town’s parks a rule forbade alcoholic drinks. In an effort to prevent people from leaving the park to attend beer houses, Butterfield presented an elaborate drinking fountain to the townspeople.

ebay

The cast iron drinking fountain which no longer exists was purchased from Walter Macfarlane & Co, and manufactured at the Saracen Foundry, Possilpark, Glasgow, Scotland. It was customized using features from two separate patterns.

The canopy was design number 20, an elaborate 18 feet by 4 feet fountain which was seated on a triple tiered octagonal plinth. The open filigree 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 alternate images of cranes and swans, or optional memorial shields. 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, ribbed dome. The internal capitals contained flowers and statues of owls on enlarged column heads. The structure was surmounted with #38 eagle finial (2ft. 10ins.)

The font which stood beneath the canopy was 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; 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
  • Pilaster
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

Abbotshall Churchyard Fountain

Location: Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland

This drinking fountain located in Abbotshall Churchyard is believed to have been erected to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria which occurred in 1887.

In the late 20th century, the cast iron fountain which had deteriorated due to adverse weather conditions, and a lack of maintenance, was also missing the finial which protruded from the basin.

The fountain was restored by Heritage Engineering in 2001. It was re-installed and unveiled on Saturday, 9th March 2002 by Mrs. Margaret Dean, Lord Lieutenant of Fife.

Design number 6 from Walter Macfarlane’s catalogue was manufactured by the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow. Standing 4ft. 11ins. on a square plinth, the fountain features an octagonal base from which a single decorated pedestal supports a basin. The sculptured finial rising from the basin is a shortened version of the original.

The original finial featured a pedestal with a capital which supported an acorn in the centre of four elaborate consoles. The consoles representing foliage supported four drinking cups suspended on chains.

ironworks jpb

Used with permission, John P, Bolton, Scottish Ironwork Foundation

Water flowed from a spout into the drinking cup by pressing its edge against a projecting stud below the spout. A self-closing valve allowed for operation with only one hand.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times; an acorn symbolizes that the roots of a family or institution are old and deep.

Glossary:

  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests

 

 


Hawkhead Cemetery Fountain

Location: Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland

The cast iron drinking fountain located in Hawkhead Cemetery was presented by Provost Archibald Mackenzie of Milliken in July 1891 following the opening of the cemetery. It was repainted in 2009.

The canopied drinking fountain is design number 20, an elaborate 18 feet by 4 feet fountain, sold by Walter Macfarlane & Co. and manufactured at the Saracen Foundry, Possilpark, Glasgow, Scotland. Seated on a triple octagonal plinth, the open filigree canopy is supported by eight columns with griffin terminals which are positioned over capitals with foliage frieze above square bases.

The highly decorated drip cusped arches are trimmed with rope mouldings. Cartouches contained within each lunette display images of cranes and two shields containing the coat of arms of the Corporation of Paisley, and a dedication shield; Presented by Archibald Mackenzie Esq. of Milliken to the Corporation of Paisley for Hawkhead Cemetery July 1891.

geograph_rig2

Creative Commons License, Lairich Rig. Source: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/3609235

On each side arch faceplates provide a flat surface for an 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 offer decorative relief on the circular, ribbed dome. Inside the dome are lion mascarons and the internal capitals support statues of owls seated on enlarged column heads. The structure is surmounted with an eagle finial.

geograph_rig3

Creative Commons License, Lairich Rig. Source: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/3609235

Under the canopy stands the font (design number 18.) A circular shaft, ornamented with water lilies, rests on a wide base with canted corners. Four lion jambs support four highly decorated quatrefoil basins. Rising from the centre is a pyramid shaped stanchion decorated with swan and bird decoration. A kylix-shaped lamp terminal with four consoles offer drinking cups suspended by chains.

geograph_rig4

Creative Commons License, Lairich Rig. Source: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/3609235

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

  • 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
  • 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
  • Jamb, a projecting vertical post containing sculpture
  • Kylix, a Grecian style drinking cup
  • Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
  • 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
  • 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

 

Glossary: