Category Archives: Scotland

White Memorial Fountain

Location: Denny, Stirlingshire, Scotland

In 1892, the White family donated a drinking fountain to the town of Denny. It was erected near Denny Old Parish Church at Broad Street in the junction of Denny Cross.

Two years later, a family member, Mr. James B. White, gave £100 to the Town Council to create a fund from which the accrued interest would pay for annual maintenance of the cast iron fountain.

The relevance of the drinking fountain declined in the early 20th century when it became an obstruction due to an increase in motor traffic, and the waning use of the structure as a source of water. In 1940, Mr. W. T. White of Fort Wayne, Indiana, the only living relative of the donor, was contacted for permission to remove the fountain due to the urgent national need for iron for the war effort. The fountain was removed in 1941.

The fountain manufactured by Messrs. Steven Bros. & Co. of the Milton Ironworks, Glasgow and London (later to be known as McDowall, Steven & Co.’s Milton Works), was from a lamppost design by Charles Henry Driver, an architect and engineer. The structure was seated on a square stone plinth.

A square base housed small demi-lune basins at ground level for dogs, and on four sides a large quatrefoil basin for horses was fed with overflow water. The highly decorated stanchion and central column were decorated with acanthus and floral relief. Lion mascarons, a symbol of guardianship, spouted water from which humans drank using metal cups suspended on consoles. A dolphin, symbolizing guardians of water, flanked each side of the stanchion.

The base of the lamp column contained four mascarons crowned with a shell motif. A Corinthian column supported a central gas lantern surmounted with a knob finial. By 1917 the central lamp had been replaced by three smaller globes. A dedication plaque contained an inscription acknowledging that the fountain had been presented by the White Family.

Sco_Broad st Denny

Glossary:

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Column Corinthian, a fluted shaft with flowers and leaves at the capital.
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • 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

 

Glenview Park Memorial Fountain

Location: Larkhall, Lanarkshire, Scotland

I have been unable to discover when this drinking fountain was erected, and if Glenview Memorial Park is the original location. However, per photographic evidence it was in this location in 1929.

1929

The canopied drinking fountain located in Glenview Memorial Park is 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 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 displayed lunettes with alternate images of cranes and swans, or optional memorial shields such as the Larkhall Victualling Society Limited. On each side arch faceplates provide 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 offer decorative relief on the circular, open filigree, ribbed dome. The internal capitals are floral ornament, and statues of owls on enlarged column heads. The openwork iron canopy was originally surmounted with a vase and spiked obelisk finial.

 

Under the canopy stood font casting number 7. The 5ft 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 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; 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.

As part of the refurbishment of Glenview Memorial Park a mosaic was created on the octagonal plinth of the cast iron drinking fountain. The mosaic was created by artist Alan Potter focusing the design on the historical, cultural and social development of Larkhall village and its environs. The icons are accompanied by brief descriptions in text set around the time-line: The Beaker people, The Damnoni Celts, The Romans, The early Christians, The Hamilton Family, The Reformation, The Covenanters and the Friendly Societies.

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The central portion of the design comprises images which are of particular significance to Larkhall in its development since the mid-18th century.

  • The early introduction of Building Societies allowing people to own their own properties (“Bonnet Lairds”).
  • Fruit growing in the Clyde Valley.
  • Home weaving with a handloom and shuttles.
  • Portrait of Robert Smillie, a miner, trade unionist who defended the rights of miners around the UK, a social reformer who co-founded the Labour Party in Scotland, President of the Miners’ Federation of Great Britain, and a symbolic broken chain and an overhead lamp symbolizing enlightenment.
  • A miner working in a low, cramped seam, his headlamp echoing the one above Smillie’s portrait.
  • Coal loaded on to trucks being taken away to power the heavy industries of Britain.
  • The steam train crosses the viaduct, tallest in Scotland at 170’ high, over Morgan’s Glen and the River Avon.

At the centre is a circular icon showing a lark ascending over a hill, the possible origin of the name Larkhall. However the name appears as Lakhouse in Timothy Pont’s Blaeu Atlas of Scotland completed in 1596 and published in 1654. It was also known in the 19th century as Laverockhall (Laverockha’) referring to a skylark and a wet boggy area.

The mosaic was unveiled in October 2008 by artist Alan Potter and the Larkhall Heritage Group. Many thanks to Alan Potter who supplied me with the mosaic information.

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

Toll Green Pump

Location: Elie, Fife, Scotland

The cast iron structure at Toll Green in Elie often referred to as a drinking fountain was actually a cow tailed pump. It was erected in 1869 as engraved on the base; George Smith & Co Sun Foundry Glasgow 1869.

ELIE_1900s_flickr dodfather

Circa 1900. Used with permission. Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dodfather/6583802409/

 

This octagonal shaped pump is design #8 from the catalogue of George Smith & Co. The single pillar with attic base hosted 8 inset arched panels of which six were for dedication. Two panels were used for the water spout and the cow tailed lever. When the pump was no longer used to supply water, these were removed and replaced with blank panels. Entablature with bolt consoles sits beneath an ogee cupola with alternate panels of fleur de lys motif.

A single column supported a six sided glass pane lantern which was capped with a ball and spike finial. The lamp has been replaced with an open sphere and spike finial atop a column with floral relief. Yoke maintenance arms that originally supported the lamp-lighter’s ladder are still in evidence. A small trough set into the base of the structure was for the use of dogs.

In 2001 Elie and Earlsferry Community Council raised funds to refurbish the pump as a millennium project. Acknowledged as the only remaining example of this design in Scotland, it was recorded as a Category C historic building on 9 August 2012.

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Glossary

  • Attic base, a column base with two rings
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Cupola, a small, domed structure on top of a roof.
  • Entablature, moldings and bands which lie horizontally above columns
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Ogee, curve with a concave
  • Yoke maintenance arms, the bars near the top of a street light which supported the lamplighter’s ladder

Carluke Drinking Fountain

Location: Carluke, Lanarkshire, Scotland

This cast iron drinking fountain was manufactured by the Lion Foundry in Kirkintilloch, Scotland, using a design from the catalogue of George Smith & Co. Casting number 41 is a rectangular structure with a square base resting on a two tier plinth. Projecting demi-lune basins flanked by foliated bas-relief are located on four sides. The central pedestal has chamfered corners with additional bas-relief. A palmette frieze sits beneath the capital. The fountain terminates with an urn and finial, number 255.

Restoration work on the fountain was accomplished as part of StreetScaping in 2006. The plinth was carved from specially selected granite to match the Streetscape paving.

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Glossary

  • 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
  • Demilune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Foliate, decorated with leaves or leaf like motif
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical entablature just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • 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