Category Archives: Sun Foundry

Newton Stewart Fountain

Location: Newton Stewart, Dumfries & Galloway, Wigtownshire, Scotland

This ‘lost’ fountain once stood at Dashwood Square in front of McMillan Hall which housed the municipal offices, old Town Hall. It was featured in the town seal used in the 1980s.

The combination cast iron lamppost and fountain remained in situ until the advent of the motor vehicle rendered it obsolete. It was removed to improve the flow of traffic in the late 1940s.

The fountain seated on a circular plinth was a design by George Smith manufactured at the Sun Foundry in Glasgow. The round base supported a large drinking basin for horses and offered a trough for small animals at ground level. A multi-tiered central column which extended into a lamp pillar was flanked by two putti holding upturned urns from which water poured. The figurines advertised as Boy with Paddle and Urn stood on a short pedestal that contained a button to release a flow of water from the urns.

Sun #8_Putto paddle

Glossary:

  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.
  • Putto (plural Putti), a figure in a work of art depicted as a chubby male child, usually nude.

Island Cow Tailed Pumps

Location: St. Peter Port, Guernsey

This octagonal shaped ornamental cow-tailed pump at the junction of La Rue du Pre and Park St. in St. Peter Port is design #8 from the catalogue of George Smith & Co. An inscription on the base identifies the Sun Foundry as the manufacturer; George Smith & Co / Sun Foundry / Glasgow.

A small trough set into the base of the structure was for the use of dogs. The single pillar with attic base hosts inset arched panels for dedication. Entablature with bolt consoles sits beneath an ogee cupola with alternate panels of fleur de lys motif. The pump handle and six sided glass pane lantern are missing; however, yoke maintenance arms that originally supported the lamp-lighter’s ladder are still in evidence. The lantern was capped with a ball and spike finial.

As part of improvements to the town of St. Peter Port in February 1876, a triangular space named Trinity Square was created with trees, iron seats, and a double-sided pump also believed to be manufactured by the Sun Foundry.

A hexagonal pedestal with attic base and inset arch panels contains a tap with bucket hook, a cow tail handle, and a lion head mascaron from which water spouted. Above the lion spout is an inscribed plaque; St. Peter Port / 1876 / J.A. Carey / F.H. Shortt / Constables. (Constables in the islands of Jersey and Guernsey are elected heads of the Parishes who enforce the decisions of the Parish.) Cursive scroll consoles support yoke maintenance arms which assisted the lamplighter to reach a gas lantern no longer in evidence.

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

 


Two Very Different Fountains

Location: Campbelltown, Argyll & Bute, Scotland

A combination drinking fountain/lamp which is located in Kinloch Green (public park), was at one time accompanied by a small pillar style drinking fountain nearby, visible in the bottom right corner of the first image.

Manufactured at the Sun Foundry in Glasgow, design #27 was described in the catalogue of George Smith & Co. as a drinking fountain and lamp combined. This octagonal shaped drinking fountain was a single pedestal with attic base that hosted a small trough at ground level for the use of dogs. Inset arched panels offered space for dedications. Two demi-lune basins were offered with drinking cups suspended by chains. Entablature with bolt consoles sat beneath an ogee cupola with panels of fleur de lys motif. The finial was a six sided glass pane lantern.

A much smaller drinking fountain was situated in front of the Cross outside the town hall on Main Street. The outcome of the fountain is unknown; however, it was most likely eliminated at the same time as the Cross was removed for safety during WWII. The cross was reinstalled after the war in its current position at the junction of Hall Street and Old Quay Street.

This decorative pillar style fountain, design #8 in the catalogue of Geo. Smith & Co., was manufactured by the Sun Foundry. It had a circular base with a trough for dogs, a short bulbous pedestal with acanthus bas-relief and lion mascarons on four sides. Water which spouted from a lion mascaron into a demi-lune basin designed for human use was retrieved using a metal cup suspended on a chain. Overflow water in the basin was directed to the trough at street level. The structure was capped with a finial.

 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
  • Bas-relief, sculpted material that has been raised from the background to create a slight projection from the surface
  • 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
  • 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

 


Jubilee Lamp Fountain

Location: Ringwood, Hampshire, England

A cast iron drinking fountain situated in Market Place was constructed in 1887 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee.

It was refurbished in 1977, recorded as a Grade II historic building on 12 March 1987 and restored and repainted by JW Lighting Specialists (UK) Limited in 2013.

The design was registered by George Smith & Co. and manufactured by the Sun Foundry. It is seated on a two tiered octagonal plinth. A compass cross base with canted corners supports a central pedestal and four columns decorated with diamond frieze and nail head molding.

The font (design #13) is a large basin with dog tooth relief on the rim, partitioned by four foliate consoles from which cups were suspended on chains. Shell motif spouts on each side released water flow.

The highly decorated lamp pillar #13a is further enhanced with a crown and dedication plaque; Erected / By Public / Subscription / To / Commemorate / The Jubilee / Of The Reign Of / Her Majesty / Queen Victoria / 1887. Four consoles support additional lanterns lit by gas; the pillar is terminated with a central lantern.

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.
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Dog tooth relief, pyramid shaped carving
  • Foliate, decorated with leaves or leaf like motif
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Nail head molding, a series of low four-sided pyramids
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.

Bridgeton Cross Drinking Fountain

Location: Bridgeton, Glasgow, Scotland

The most well-known and prominent feature of Bridgeton is the Shelter and Clock manufactured by George Smith & Co.

A purchase order was issued by the City Improvement Trust in 1873 to provide shelter from inclement weather in an open space created by the removal of buildings during the Slum Clearance. It was officially unveiled on 3 March 1875.

The shelter which proved popular became a meeting place for a variety of groups, and inevitably a refuge for the homeless population and addicts. Known locally as the Umbrella, it was recorded as a Class A Historic Building on 16th March 1993 and restored in 2007 by Clyde Gateway and Glasgow City Heritage Trust.

An article in the British Architect of 1874 reported that the 20 feet high shelter would offer a drinking fountain in each side. As photographic evidence is scarce it would appear that the only drinking fountain installed was in the street on the east side of the structure.

facebook SIF

Fountain is visible in centre of image. Image provided by the Scottish Ironwork Foundation, courtesy of John P. Bolton

getty

Fountain is visible on the left

There is no record of its removal or the whereabouts of its relocation. It is possible that it was destroyed after being requisitioned during the Second World War as raw material for the war industries. It could also have been removed following a new understanding of waterborne diseases which caused Typhoid Fever and Cholera.

The drinking fountain, design number 10, cast by the Sun Foundry in Glasgow, was seated on an octagonal base. The single fluted pedestal supported the large basin (2 feet 8 inches in diameter) containing pattern #8 identified as ‘boy with a paddle and urn’. Water was distributed via the urn and retrieved with a cup suspended on a chain. At ground level, a small trough supplied water to dogs. The structure was 5 feet tall.

Sun_#10_putto paddle

 

Glossary

  • Fluted, a long rounded groove
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue

Georgetown Fountains

Location: Georgetown, Guyana

On August 14, 1923 the Cenotaph was unveiled at the intersection of Main and Church Streets. This memorial replaced a cast iron drinking fountain erected in 1867 to mark the completion of the Water Works in 1866. The drinking fountain which was relocated to the green opposite St. Rose’s High School in Church Street, just a few hundred feet from its original location, no longer exists.

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 were 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.

PROMENADE GARDENS
A second cast iron drinking fountain is located in the Promenade Gardens. A dedication plaque states; Presented / to the city / of Georgetown / by / Mrs. L.C. Probyn / 1882.

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 with canted corners. It has a central pedestal and four columns decorated with diamond frieze and nail head molding which support the font. The large basin has nail head relief on the rim and is partitioned by four foliate brackets from which cups were suspended on chains. Shell motif spouts on each side released water flow. The structure is surmounted with a chained orb terminal. The base is 2 ft wide, basin is 2 ft 9” wide and the height of the structure is 4’ 9”.

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
  • Compass cross, a cross of equal vertical and horizontal lengths, concentric with and overlaying a circle.
  • 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
  • Foliate, decorated with leaves or leaf like motif
  • 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
  • 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

Dunscombe Testimonial Fountain

Location: Cork, Republic of Ireland

The fountain which once stood at the end of Shandon Street in Brown’s Square adjacent to the North Gate Bridge supplied drinking water to the north side of the city. The area served as a place for traders and vendors to sell their goods. The image below shows holly for sale dating it in the Christmas season.

The drinking fountain was donated in April 1883 to the Cork Corporation in memory of Reverend Nicholas Colthurst Dunscombe who was ordained in 1823, a leading Protestant clergyman, Rector of Temple Michael De-Duah, and a founding member of the Temperance Movement in the city. As an advocate for moderation in alcohol consumption a drinking fountain was a very suitable memorial.

1939

Circa 1939

A committee administered donations to fund the construction and erection of the fountain which was in situ from 1883 until 1935 when it was removed. There is no record of the reason for its removal or the whereabouts of its relocation.

The design was registered by George Smith & Co. and manufactured by the Sun Foundry. It was seated on a two tiered octagonal plinth. A compass cross base with canted corners supported a central pedestal and four columns decorated with diamond frieze and nail head molding. The font (design number 13) was a large basin with dog tooth relief on the rim, partitioned by four foliate consoles from which cups were suspended on chains. Shell motif spouts on each side released water flow.

A central column with engraved dedication supported an inverted umbrella-style canopy with highly decorated acanthus scroll work. The cornice was intricate open fret detail with four consoles supporting glass globes lanterns lit by gas. The dome consisted of eight panels rising to two bands; one of open filigree and the other engraved bas-relief. An ogee roof supported the lamp finial with crown and pyramid apex.

Sun_Airdrie 1867

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

Glossary:

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration. It is symbolic of a difficult problem that has been solved.
  • Bas-relief, sculpted material that has been raised from the background to create a slight projection from the surface
  • 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.
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Cornice, a molding or ornamentation that projects from the top of a building
  • Dog tooth frieze, pyramid shaped carving
  • Filigree, fine ornamental work
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Foliate, decorated with leaves or leaf like motif
  • Fret, running or repeated ornament
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Nail head molding, a series of low four-sided pyramids
  • Ogee, curve with a concave
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.