Tag Archives: Captain Street Lower

Killowen Drinking Fountain

Location: Coleraine, Londonderry, Northern Ireland

In the mid part of the 19th century, homes in the Waterside area of Coleraine had no water supply. The drilling of a small diameter well in 1870 delivered spring water from 80 feet below the surface of Captain Street Lower. The fountain was most likely erected at the edge of the pavement around this time period. It was believed that the water held special powers and was delivered to the sick and dying.

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Creative Commons License, Albert Bridge. Source: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2825813

On ordnance survey maps of Coleraine, the fountain is indicated by the letter ‘P’ (for pump) in 1882; by WT (water trough) in 1904, 1922 and 1949; and as a pump in 1973 and subsequent years.

irish news

The Historic Buildings Unit of the DOE recorded the drinking fountain as a Category B+ listing on 22 March 2016, and in the spring of 2017 it was announced that the drinking fountain, which is still in operation and used daily by locals, will be restored.

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Creative Commons License, Albert Bridge. Source: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2825836

Design L34 by Glenfield Company Limited offers a square pedestal with geometric pattern on the base. All four sides have a panel edged with cable fret; the panel on the east side has a lion mascaron with a large circular flower or sun motif and a central button that activates the release of water. The manufacturer’s name is engraved below the mascaron; Glenfield Co. / Limited / Kilmarnock. A studded cornice beneath the capital supports a square base with nail head moulding surmounted with an urn finial (the original design offered a lamp post).


  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Cornice, a molding or ornamentation that projects from the top of a building
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Fret, running or repeated ornament
  • Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal
  • Nail head molding, a series of low four-sided pyramids
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue