Category Archives: Sun Foundry

Earlsdon Avenue Drinking Fountain

Location: Earlsdon, Coventry, England

The drinking fountain located on Earlsdon Avenue South is a remnant of the original structure erected in 1870 at Spon Street near St. John Baptist Church.

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Image circa 1884

The fountain which was surmounted by a large gas street lamp replaced a red sandstone fountain erected by the Coventry United Temperance and Band of Hope Association on the same site in September 1859.

Considered redundant in 1921 the fountain was relocated to Earlsdon Avenue at Styvechale Common, but whether the lamp was removed at this point in time is unknown. It remained operational until the 1970s. Decades of disuse and a lack of maintenance followed causing deterioration of the structure.

A movement to restore the drinking fountain was successfully funded by Heritage Lottery. The project was co-ordinated by two local community groups, the South Earlsdon Neighbours Association and the Earlsdon Research Group, in partnership with Coventry City Council, Severn Trent Water.

The actual restoration was undertaken by the Fountain Company of Glossop in Derbyshire in 2015. When reinstalled with brass spigots and a connected water supply, it was rotated 90° from its original position to situate the basins in a north/south direction. It was listed a Grade II historic building on 15 May 2017.

Design #27 from the catalogue of George Smith & Co. was manufactured at the Sun Foundry in Glasgow. This octagonal shaped drinking fountain is a single pedestal with attic base and inset arched panels that offered space for dedications. Two demi-lune basins with drinking cups suspended by chains offered water to humans, and at ground level was a basin for dogs. Entablature with bolt consoles sit beneath an ogee cupola with alternate panels of fleur de lys motif. The original structure was surmounted with a Bray’s Patent Flat Flame gas lantern in the form of a large globe. An acorn shaped finial was attached to the restored fountain (standard finial used on George Smith’s font pattern #14, and the base of the original lamp fountain).

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.
  • 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
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Big Lamp Fountain

Location: Carrickfergus, County Antrim, Northern Ireland

The market place in the town of Carrickfergus lay within a triangle formed by the castle, the friary and St Nicholas’ Church. In its centre were a market cross called Great Patrick, and a market house which became the original Town Hall in 1843 until 1936.

A drinking fountain with a large gas lamp was installed on 19 November 1881 near the site of the old market cross on the High Street. It stood at the location of the old market house and was known locally as the Big Lamp. It became a meeting place, “Meet you at the Big Lamp”, and men gathered around it to discuss the news during World War One.

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Circa 1930s – presence of motor vehicles. Source: Facebook/OldCarrickFergus

Throughout the decades, the drinking fountain was modified; the big lamp was replaced with a central globe and three downward facing lanterns in the early 1930s, most likely coinciding with the introduction of electricity. Road signs to direct motor traffic were attached to the pedestal around the same time period.

Images from 1952 show that the original font with finial was removed, probably to install a more hygienic bubbler type fountain.

In 1955 it was struck by a truck and damaged prompting its removal. An inaccurate replica of the drinking fountain was erected in 1990 in Victoria Place not far from its original location.

The original drinking fountain, design number 3 from George Smith & Co.’s Sun Foundry, consisted of four columns with obelisk finials rising from a three tiered plinth to support a domed canopy. The interior column connectors to the dome were adorned with descending alligators and leafy decoration. Alligators were considered a symbol of evil and were hung from the ceilings of cabinets as a reminder of the mortality of humanity.

Arch faceplates with drip fret detail offered a flat surface for inscriptions in raised metal letters; civic virtues such as temperance were extolled on many drinking fountains. Over each arch, cartouches within each lunette offered commemorative dedication or crests.

On top of the solid dome was a pedestal braced by four secondary posts to support an oversized lantern made by George Bray, a prominent manufacturer and trader of gas burners and lamps. Bray’s Patent flat flame gas lantern was windproof, tapered downwards so as to avoid throwing a shadow on the ground in the immediate vicinity of the lamp post, and had reflectors in the top of the case to increase the illumination from the gas jet.

Standing within the canopy was a font customized from the standard design. A fluted pedestal and wide basin (pattern #11) was surmounted by the finial from pattern #7; a sculptured urn with two shell motif spouts. Water was collected with two drinking cups suspended on chains from elaborate consoles. A pointed enrichment terminated the structure.

Glossary:

  • 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
  • Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Fluted, a long rounded groove
  • Fret, running or repeated ornament
  • 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
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.

Arthur Itter Memorial Fountain

Location: Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, England

Itter Memorial Park and the drinking fountain located just inside the park were donated to commemorate the life of businessman and philanthropist Arthur Itter, M.A. B.COM. During his lifetime he was a brick manufacturer, a member of the Council of the Baptist Union of Great Britain and Ireland, and Mayor of the City of Peterborough.

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In 1933 at age 35 years, he became Mayor Elect of the City of Peterborough. He holds two records; the youngest Mayor ever to be elected; and the shortest term of a Peterborough Mayor. He died following a sudden illness on 26th December 1934 after only being in office for two months.

This octagonal shaped drinking fountain seated on a two tiered circular 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. The structure is surmounted with an orb finial.

Originally, cups suspended on chains above the two demi-lune basins offered water to humans, and a trough at ground level supplied smaller animals. A dedication marker is inscribed with the following legend:

This Drinking Fountain Was Erected By / The Mayor, Aldermen And Citizens Of / The City Of Peterborough As A Memorial / To Arthur Itter M.A. B.Com Who Was A Member / Of The City Council From the 26th March / 1929 to the 26th of December 1935. And Died / During His Year Of Office As Mayor Of The / City On The 26th December 1935.

Note that the dates on the plaque are incorrect. Arthur Itter died in 1934. The park was donated by his family in 1935.

Glossary

  • 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.
  • Demi-lune, 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

Ashton Park Fountain

Location: Preston, Lancashire, England

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. The structure is surmounted with an acorn shaped finial.

Two demi-lune basins originally offered a cup suspended on a chain for the use of humans, and at ground level, was a basin for dogs.

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Used with permission, Tony Worrall. Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tonyworrall/875406715

The plaque on the base is engraved with the legend; Fredk Bird & Co. / Engineers & / Ironfounders / London W.

Glossary

  • 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.
  • Demi-lune, 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

City Cemetery Drinking Fountain

Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland

The drinking fountain located midway between the vaults and the boundary wall was erected during the late 19th century (1880-1890).

Seated on a two tiered hexagonal granite plinth, the fountain is design number 13 by George Smith & Co. manufactured by the Sun Foundry. The base is in the form of a compass cross base with canted corners. It has a central pedestal and four columns decorated with diamond frieze and nail head molding which supported the font. The large basin has nail head relief on the rim and is partitioned by four foliate brackets from which cups are suspended on chains. Shell motif spouts on each side release water flow. The structure is surmounted with a chained orb terminal.

Glossary:

  • Canted corner, an angled surface which cuts of a corner
  • Compass cross, a cross of equal vertical and horizontal lengths, concentric with and overlaying a circle.
  • 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 moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.

Faversham Town Pump

Location: Faversham, Kent, England

Before the arrival of a piped water supply in 1864, local households were dependent for their supply of water on pumps and wells. The first pump on the site of the Market Place next to Guildhall, provided by a local benefactor in 1635, was replaced by the present elaborate cow tailed pump in 1855.

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Circa 1900

Although this pump design is illustrated as #8 in the catalogue of George Smith & Co., the company did not exist until 1858, and it is therefore likely that the pattern was purchased from an existing iron foundry (possibly Dartford Iron Works; as the owner, John Hall, also owned a paper mill and a gunpowder factory in Faversham.)

Design #8 from the catalogue of George Smith & Co. was described as a drinking fountain and lamp combined. This octagonal shaped drinking fountain (cow tailed pump) is a single pedestal with attic base and inset arched panels which offered space for dedications. Entablature with bolt consoles sit beneath an ogee cupola with panels of fleur de lys motif. Yoke maintenance arms that originally supported the lamp-lighter are still in evidence. The original finial was a six sided glass pane lantern which no longer exists. The floral relief decorated column is capped with a ball finial. A small trough set into the base of the structure was for the use of dogs.

The structure was recorded as a Grade II historic building on 3 August 1972.

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

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.

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