Tag Archives: Belfast

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.

Falls Park Drinking Fountain

Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland

In June 1866, a portion of the land purchased from the Sinclair family by Belfast Corporation was used to create Falls Park. It was established as a public park in 1869. The park was used as a congregational area during WWII air raids.

Unfortunately I have been unable to find any information relating to the history of the drinking fountain erected in the park. The attached photos were taken by John Bonar Holmes on July 25, 1946. Used with permission from the Facebook page, Yesterday’s Photos and Photographic Services.

The 6’ 2” drinking fountain, design number 18, was manufactured by Walter Macfarlane’s Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, Scotland. It had a wide base in the form of a St. Andrew’s cross with canted corners, on which was set a circular shaft ornamented with water lilies. Four lion jambs supported four highly decorated quatrefoil basins. An obelisk with swan and bird relief rose from the center of the basins. A kylix-shaped vase terminal with four consoles offered drinking cups suspended by chains.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Griffins are symbolic of guardians of priceless possessions; lions are symbolic of guardianship; owls are symbolic of guardians of the afterlife, and eagles represent immortality.

Glossary

  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Jamb, a projecting vertical post containing sculpture
  • Kylix, a Grecian style drinking cup
  • 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
  • relief
  • Stanchion, upright bar or post providing support
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

 


Woodvale Park

Location: Woodvale Road, upper Shankill, north-west Belfast, Northern Ireland

Land purchased from Woodville House by Belfast Corporation was transformed into Woodvale Park. The park opened in 1888 with a bandstand and shelter. Two drinking fountains were also installed one at the front gate, and one at the back entrance to the park. Woodvale Park originally included a large pond which was filled in after World War II, and a children’s playground built in its stead. The fountain was replaced circa late 1950s or early 1960s with a bubbler type fountain with push button.

Cast iron drinking fountain number 8 from Walter Macfarlane & Co.’s catalogue was manufactured in 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.

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

Jaffe Fountain

Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland

The drinking fountain was dedicated to Daniel Joseph Jaffe, a businessman, politician and philanthropist, and was erected in 1874 at Victoria Square. The commemoration panel is located on the interior of the canopy hood: Daniel Joseph Jaffe born Schwerin 1809 Died at Nice 1874/ A founder of Jaffe Brothers/ of Hamburg, Dundee, Belfast, Liepzig and Paris/ He fostered the linen trade of Ulster/ Until 1933 this memorial stood near the warehouse/ he erected in 1880 at 10 Donegall Square South. It was/ then moved to this site for the better service of the public.

The structure was manufactured by the Sun Foundry, Glasgow and is drinking fountain design number 2. In its original location, the fountain was seated on a deep plinth with several stairs leading to the interior and the font. One of the original features was a lamp at the apex of the dome. It is unknown when the lantern was removed or for what reason (possibly the advent of electric light), but it had already been replaced by a weather vane with compass points when the fountain was moved to the embankment near King’s Bridge, Botanic Gardens in 1933. While located at the Botanic Gardens, the structure fell into disrepair.

In 2007, the monument was in a fragile condition and was dismantled piece by piece and taken to Shropshire, England, to be fully restored. Extensive research and scientific analysis was carried out on various layers of paint in order to identify the original colours. The Fountain was returned to Victoria Square on 14 February 2008.

A manufacturer’s stamp at the base of one of the columns identifies Geo. Smith & Co. Sun Foundry Glasgow No 16 – 5. The stamp refers to Column design number 16 which was 5 inches in diameter.

Seated on a solid base with four steps from street level, the Jaffe Memorial Drinking Fountain consists of eight columns supporting a large solid domed canopy and finial. The open filigree frieze above the cornice is expanded to the interior of the dome, and leaves decorate the outer edge of the cornice. The cupola is trimmed with rope design and is surmounted with a five tiered finial consisting of four scrolls with leaves and suns/stars pointing in four compass directions. (The current finial bears no resemblance to the original lantern, and little resemblance to the weather vane which replaced it). The uppermost part of the finial appears to be in the shape of an arrow pointing to Heaven.

The wide based font, design number 13, was located on a raised and stepped platform. The central pedestal was supported by four columns stamped with a diamond pattern. Square capitals on each side of the dog toothed basin contain a seven pointed embellishment which may represent a star or the sun. This symbol also outlines the ribs on the domed roof. Four consoles with acanthus relief connect the central stanchion to the basin and originally supported drinking cups suspended on chains. Shell motif spouts released water flow. A multi-tiered circular column was surmounted by a studded orb terminal.

Glossary

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Consoles, a decorative bracket support element
  • Cornice, a molding or ornamentation that projects from the top of a building
  • Cupola, a small, domed structure on top of a roof.
  • Filigree, fine ornamental work
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests
  • Stanchion, upright bar or post providing support
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal