Tag Archives: Coleraine

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



Anderson Fountain

Location: Coleraine, Country Londonderry, Ireland

Land for a public park in the town of Coleraine was acquired with £3,000 bequeathed by Hugh Anderson in 1876 to the Town Commissioners. A quarter of a century later in 1902, the land was bought, the park designed, and named after its benefactor. The park is large, divided into three parts by through roads.

A memorial drinking fountain was erected in 1911 to commemorate the donor and is located on the northern section between Brook Street and Union Street. The fountain was listed as an historic building, category B, in June 1977, and restored recently as part of a major renovation of the park.

The canopied drinking fountain is design number 21 (18 feet by 4 feet) from Walter Macfarlane’s catalog manufactured at the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, Scotland. Seated on a three tiered octagonal plinth, the canopy is supported by eight columns with griffin terminals which are positioned over capitals with foliage frieze above square bases.

The highly decorated cusped arches are trimmed with rope mouldings which display lunettes with an image of a crane. Cartouches offer shields for crests and memorial: The Hon. The Irish Society of London presented as a free gift three roods and ten perches of the land included in this park and also £250 towards the cost of its equipment. On side arch faceplates provide a flat surface for inscription using raised metal letters; often the useful monition, Keep the pavement dry. Civic virtues such as temperance were often extolled in inscriptions on drinking fountains.

Doves and flowers offer decorative relief on the circular, open filigree, ribbed dome. The internal capitals contain flowers. The structure is surmounted with a vase and spiked obelisk finial.

Under the canopy stands the font (casting number 7) 5 foot 8 inches high. A single pedestal with four decorative columns rises from an octagonal base. Four salamanders descend the fountain pedestal as a symbol of courage and bravery. The basin has a scalloped edge and decorative relief. A central urn with four projecting tendrils offered drinking cups suspended by chains. The terminal is a crane.

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.


  • 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
  • Cusped Arch, the point of intersection of lobed or scalloped forms
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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