Category Archives: Sun Foundry

Beaumaris Castle Drinking Fountain

Location: Beamaris, Isle of Anglesey, Wales

The drinking fountain is located between Beaumaris Castle and the Happy Valley Pavilion. It was erected on 23rd June 1893 in the public pleasure grounds adjoining Beaumaris Castle by Alderman Thomas Hughes who later became Mayor.

This octagonal shaped drinking fountain seated on an octagonal plinth is design #14 manufactured by George Smith & Co., Sun Foundry, Glasgow. The ogee shaped base and acroter support a single pillar with attic base and inset arched panels. Entablature with bolt consoles sit beneath an ogee cupola with alternate panels of fleur de lys motif. The structure is surmounted with an acorn shaped finial.

Originally, two demilune basins with a chain for a suspended cup offered water to humans, and at ground level was a basin for dogs.


Creative Commons License. Source:

A plaque is inscribed with the legend; Presented / To The / Corporation / Of / Beaumaris / By Alderman / Thos. Hughes / 1893


Used with permission, Wendy Harris. Source:


  • Acroter, flat base
  • Attic base, a column base with two rings
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Cupola, a small, domed structure on top of a roof.
  • Demilune, half moon or crescent shape
  • 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

Edward Denis De Vitre Memorial Fountain

Location: Lancaster, England

Edward Denis De Vitre was a philanthropist with incredible community spirit. In 1840 he was Chairman of the Lancaster Gas Company. However, he is most famous as a doctor who in 1842 was a consulting physician at Lancaster Asylum and was a great proponent for the cause of the mentally afflicted. He became one of the founders of Royal Albert Asylum for Idiots and Imbeciles of the Northern Counties.

He was elected Mayor in 1843 and again in1855. In 1845 he was also active in the committee of the Lancaster Canal, and by 1853 he was Director of West Hartlepool Harbour and Railway Company. He was a Justice of the Peace for the Borough and County of Lancaster, and in 1864 he was elected President of the Lancashire and Cheshire Branch of the British Medical Association. It is not difficult to imagine why a large procession accompanied his coffin to the Lancaster Cemetery in 1878.

A drinking fountain and lamp was erected in his memory in 1880 outside the old town hall in Market Street. The structure was seated on a large square plinth bordered by four cast iron guard posts, and bore an inscription: Presented To The Shareholders Of The Lancaster Gas Company 1880 In Memory Of Edward Denis De Vitre , M.D., 40 Years Chairman Of The Company

It was relocated some time before 1903 per photographic evidence and installed in Queen’s Square near King Street until 1942 when it was permanently removed. An obstacle to motor traffic is the most likely reason for its removal, in addition to public awareness of water sanitation.

The fountain was design number 194 registered to George Smith & Co. manufactured by the Sun Foundry of Glasgow. The original structure was 17 feet 2 inches high. The pedestal with chamfered edge hosted four panels containing a lion mascaron with self-closing tap from which water spouted into demi-lune basins. Drinking water was captured in metal cups suspended on chains. Overflow water drained into small troughs at ground level for dogs.

A frieze of acanthus leaves was situated beneath the capital upon which there was a lamp standard with a base of four decorative scrolls. The pedestal had a bulbous base with bas-relief extending into a fluted column with bands. A two tiered acroter supported decorative yoke maintenance arms and a tapered hexagon glass lantern.

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  • 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
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • 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
  • Yoke maintenance arms, the bars near the top of a street light which supported the lamplighter’s ladder


Nowra Drinking Fountains

Location: Nowra, New South Wales, Australia

This post was originally intended to record the details of the Queen Victoria Jubilee drinking fountain; however, during research I discovered that three drinking fountains existed in the town.

In 1897, there was contentious debate within the Council as to whether a drinking fountain should be erected to commemorate 60 years of reign by Queen Victoria. On the 23rd June in the same year, a large gathering assembled at the corner of Kinghorn and Junction streets to celebrate the unveiling of the approved fountain by the wife of Mayor Christopher Graham. It was a joyous event with the Nowra Brass Band accompanying the crowd as they sang the following songs between speeches; the Old Hundredth, Advance Australia, the National Anthem, and Rule Britannia.

The Nowra School of Arts committee made a request to Council on 10 Mar 1900 to remove the drinking fountain from its present position near the Commercial Bank, to the space in front of the hall. Alderman Morton opposed the idea, citing that it had been placed there for a purpose, and as the School did not pay rates, they had no right to make such a request.

The drinking fountain remained in situ, and for several years was neglected, deteriorating to an unsatisfactory condition. A suggestion was made in 1916 to move it from the corner at the Commercial Bank to the Recreation Ground. Due to the stated fact that some people preferred to drink water at the fountain instead of the nearby public houses, the proposal was defeated. The quest to relocate the fountain resurfaced again in 1930 with a submission to move it to Memorial Park at North Street and Bridge Road. Despite this proposal being accepted, the Jubilee Fountain was eventually moved to Nowra Showground.

An excerpt from the Shoalhaven Telegraph Wednesday 23 June 1897: The fountain stands on a base of sandstone and is some 6ft in height, is painted green with gold facings, and is supplied with two drinking mugs. The estimated cost, including erection, painting, etc, is about £17. The work of erection was carried out by Mr. J. Gibson. At the base is a brass plate bearing the following inscription:-
Erected June 22nd, 1897 / In Commemoration of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria / Graham, Mayor.

The fate of the fountain is unknown. The only photograph I could find offers a very unclear image. It is possible that it is design #6 from Geo. Smith & Son, cast in the Sun Foundry, Glasgow, Scotland.

Sun_font 6

Sun Foundry design #6

The fountain, 4ft. 10ins. high, was seated on a two tiered plinth. It featured a single pedestal basin with a base of four globular design elements transitioning into 4 small pilasters. A 2ft 2ins. diameter basin was decorated with a rope detail edge. In the centre of the basin was a sculptured urn with 2 shell motif spouts. Water was collected with two drinking cups suspended on chains from elaborate consoles. A pointed enrichment terminated the structure.


    • Console, a decorative bracket support element
    • Pilaster
    • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests


A drinking fountain was erected in the Nowra Showground on 14 February 1912 in memory of Mr. John Monaghan Esq. J.P., one of the founders of the Shoalhaven Agricultural Society, and a selfless public servant of 70 years with the Shoalhaven District. The fountain served the public with fresh drinking water.

Design number 7, standing 5ft 8ins, from Walter Macfarlane’s catalogue was manufactured by the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow featuring a single pedestal basin with four pilasters rising from an octagonal plinth. Four salamanders descend the fountain pedestal as a symbol of courage and bravery.

The basin, 2 ft 6 ins in diameter, has a scalloped edge and decorative relief. The interior surface is engraved, and a sculptured urn is terminated by the figure of a crane, a symbol of vigilance. Four elaborate consoles once 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.

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A plaque with inscription is located at the base of the urn within the basin.
Fountain Erected By The Public Of Shoalhaven To The Memory Of The Late John Monaghan Esq. J.P. First White Australian Male Child Born In The Shoalhaven District South Of The River Also One Who Rendered Invaluable Services In Advancing The Interests Of This District.


  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

In 1902, a marble monument to the Boer War which also housed a drinking fountain was erected in front of the Nowra School of Arts. It remained there until 1962 when it was relocated to Rauch Park in Junction Street, opposite the Shoalhaven Council Chambers. (Rauch Park, named after a local newspaper man Henry Rauch, was created in 1956.)

Boer War_southcoast register

Memorial can be seen on the right edge of image

boer war memorial

Boer War Memorial

An interesting article on the memorial is currently available at this link

Diamond Jubilee Fountain

Location: Cowdenbeath, Fife, Scotland

On Jun 23rd 1897, a drinking fountain was erected in the High Street donated by the Burgh’s first Provost, Henry Mungall. Located near the tollhouse, it was erected to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. A need for better lighting in 1913 initiated an upgrade to the original lanterns.

The drinking fountain remained in situ until the mid-1940s when it was removed to enable widening of the road.

George Smith & Co.’s design number 5, which was manufactured by the Sun Foundry, was advertised as 14 feet 6 inches to the base of the centre lamp. The ogee style base supported a single pedestal structure seated on a two tiered plinth. The central block was edged with rope detail. Four pilasters framed decorative inlaid panels. Four demi-lune basins were flanked by drinking cups suspended on chains. Centre and above each panel, a lion mascaron adorned the capital. A solid domed roof supported a lantern finial with two additional lanterns on consoles.

Sun 5

Image provided by John P. Bolton, The Scottish Ironwork Foundation

Customization of this design was made to the dome with the addition of four dedication roundels with a left facing silhouette of Queen Victoria’s head.

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  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • 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
  • Ogee, curve with a concave
  • 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.