Category Archives: Scotland

Town House Fountain

Location: Aberdeen, Scotland

In an area of Aberdeen known as Old Machar there is a building on the cobbled High Street which was originally the Town House (Town Hall) in the 19th century. A weekly market and a bi-annual fair were held in this location and likely the reason for the erection of a drinking fountain/trough with a single lamp.

The fountain no longer exists and a mercat cross stands in its stead.

The cast iron drinking fountain was design number 174 manufactured by the Sun Foundry in Glasgow. It consisted of a central pedestal flanked by two horse troughs with a lamp centerpiece.

The pedestal with chamfered edge hosted four panels. On three sides a compass cross contained a lion mascaron with self-closing tap from which water spouted into small basins. Drinking water was captured in metal cups suspended on chains. Overflow water which drained into troughs for horses also fed small troughs at ground level for dogs.

A frieze of acanthus leaves was situated beneath the capital upon which there was a lamp standard seated on four decorative consoles. A bulbous base with bas-relief extended into a fluted column with bands. An acroter supported a single glass lantern.

Glossary:

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Acroter, flat base
  • Bas-relief, sculpted material that has been raised from the background to create a slight projection from the surface
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Chamfer, a beveled edge
  • Compass cross, a cross of equal vertical and horizontal lengths, concentric with and overlaying a circle.
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • 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
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Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee Fountain

Location: Auchencairn, Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland

A drinking fountain, lamp & trough located in the Square has been a fixture since the late 19th century. It was funded with public subscriptions and erected in commemoration of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897. The fountain which was only one of a few water sources in the very early 1900s also offered water to horses.

The project to restore the fountain was undertaken in 2009 by Roy Wilson who was an active member of the Auchencairn Initiative (a community fundraising organization). The structure was cleaned, repaired and repainted by Ray Innes of Innes Design Centre, a local British Industrial Design Engineer.

The structure was manufactured by Coalbrookdale Company of Shropshire, England and was originally seated on an octagonal stone plinth. A thick circular pedestal supported a large round trough from which overflow water fed a shallow trough at ground level for the use of smaller animals. During the late 20th century (post 1996) the plinth was extended using cobblestones creating a circular shape, and the short pedestal and shallow drain forming a trough for dogs was removed.

Beneath the capital of a short column rising from the centre of the trough are two decorative consoles from which drinking cups were originally suspended on chains. The decorative fluted lamp pillar with yoke maintenance arms was surmounted with a gas globe (Bray’s Flat Flame Lantern System.)

The manufacturer’s name is located on the trough basin, and on the fluted pedestal is a decorative shield inscribed with a dedication; Jubilee Lamp / Erected By / Public / Subscription / 1897.

Glossary:

  • Bray’s Flat Flame Lantern System, a cluster of wide flat burners within a glass lantern in which the upper portion was white opaque glass to reflect the light downward
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Fluted, a long rounded groove
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.
  • Yoke maintenance arms, the bars near the top of a street light which supported the lamplighter’s ladder

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.

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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.

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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

 


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:

 


Market Square Fountain

Location: Galashiels, Scottish Borders, Scotland

A drinking fountain/horse trough structure erected in 1882 and originally located in Market Square was removed in 1920 to accommodate the creation of a bus station.

The fountain was relocated to Tweed Crescent in 1933 where the base which included the drinking basins was encompassed in masonry, and the gas lantern atop the fountain was converted to electricity.

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Tweed Crescent electric light

Repair was scheduled by the Scottish Borders Council in 2011 to remove decades of deterioration due to rust. During removal of the masonry, the drinking basins originally attached to the light source were revealed. Repair of the lamp post then became a restoration project made possible with the assistance of Old Gala Club and the Scottish Borders Council’s (SBC) financed with pay parking money raised in Galashiels.

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Source: Border Telegraph

The Ballantine Bo’ness Iron Company restored the lamp column and Sugg Lighting Company of Horsham (manufacturing company of the original triple lantern) was commissioned to recreate the light feature. A local company, Finlaysons, repainted the lamp post in red and gold.

 

The drinking fountain was created using lamp standard design number 28 offered by W. T. Allen & Co. of London. Three demi-lune basins were attached to a compass cross on each side of the square base into which lion mascarons spouted water. A large horse trough originally attached to the fourth side has been lost. Each basin is flanked with palmette and acanthus relief.

geograph Walter Baxter-font

Creative Commons License, Walter Baxter. Source: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2334458

A frieze of acanthus is situated beneath the capital upon which there is a lamp pedestal. Each corner of the pedestal contains an open mouthed griffin alternated with a sculpture of fruit. (Symbolism was popular in Victorian times; griffins represented guardians of priceless possessions). The lamp pillar with floral bas-relief extends into a banded, fluted column. The terminal is a candelabrum of 3 glass lanterns extending from elaborate consoles.

gala-17.10.17-4

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

A small plaque on the base is inscribed with the name of a supplier of gas fittings; J Milne & Son, Milton House, Edinburgh.

Glossary:

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Bas-relief, sculpted material that has been raised from the background to create a slight projection from the surface
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Compass cross, a cross of equal vertical and horizontal lengths, concentric with and overlaying a circle.
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • 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
  • Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal
  • Palmette, a decorative motif resembling the fan shaped leaves of a palm tree
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • 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

 


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