Category Archives: Scotland

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

 

Thorntree Well Fountain

Location: Bothwell, Lanarkshire, Scotland

In the 19th century, the town of Bothwell’s water supply came from a series of public wells. Towards the end of the century these wells were being replaced with piped water. One such well named Thorntree, situated at the junction of Green Street and Main Street, was replaced with a drinking fountain in 1889. Public subscription raised funds for the project in 1888.

The fountain was damaged in April 1896 when it was hit by a tramway bus drawn by four horses. “On Monday night, about nine o’clock, while a tramway bus drawn by four horses, and driven by John Sinclair, 109 Broad street, Carlton, Glasgow, was passing through the village on its way to the city, the driver mistaking the road, took the off-side of the fountain at the foot of Green Street, and went crash against the stone wall at the corner opposite. About fifteen feet of the wall gave way, and the driver was thrown from his seat, sustaining an ugly cut on his temple. The passengers escaped with bruises” Hamilton Advertiser 11/4/1896.

The fountain was removed circa 1940s when it became an obstacle to tramway lines and increased motor traffic.

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. It was 12ft 9ins high providing a circular cast iron basin supported on legs in the form of horses’ hooves. The central stanchion with attic base supported a central fluted column and the option of a shield for inscription. Cups suspended on chains hung from two projecting consoles in the form of tendrils. A bulbous form engraved with acanthus bas-relief demarcated the transformation of the column into a lamp pillar (#30) with lantern design #208. Yoke maintenance arms were positioned beneath the lantern.

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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
  • 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
  • Yoke maintenance arms, the bars near the top of the street light which supported the lamplighter’s ladder

Maxwell Square Fountain

Location: Pollokshields, Glasgow, Scotland

In the late 19th century during demolition of the tenements in East Pollokshields, Sir John Stirling Maxwell donated land to create a playground for local children. Named Maxwell Square (not to be confused with Maxwell Park) it was opened in 1889 and featured a cast-iron drinking fountain on the Kenmure Street side of the Park. It was demolished in 1950.

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 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 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.

ebay

1905 pollokshields

Circa 1905

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
  • Fret, running or repeated ornament
  • 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

Caledonian Railway Drinking Fountain

Location: Peebles, Scottish Borders, Scotland

This ‘lost’ cast iron drinking fountain, design #16 (3 feet 3 inches high and 2 feet 7 inches wide), was a wall mounted casting in the form of a round arch trimmed with highly decorated fret detail and rope moulding. The recessed interior of the arch contained a shell lunette with a tap which poured water into a fluted demi-lune basin. The fountain was surmounted with a palmette finial and a ring from which a single drinking cup was suspended on a chain. It was located in the Caledonian Railway station on the north side of March Street in Peebles.

peebles

In 1948 the railway was nationalised as part of British Rail, and the Edinburgh to Peebles line permanently closed in February 1962. It was later demolished and is now a housing development named March Street Lane.

Glossary

  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Fret, running or repeated ornament
  • Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
  • Palmette, a decorative motif resembling the fan shaped leaves of a palm tree