Tag Archives: England

Melton Mowbray Golden Jubilee Fountain

Location: Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, England

I have been unable to find any images of this drinking fountain; however, according to the Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland the design would appear to be a modification of #27 from the catalogue of George Smith & Co. described as a drinking fountain and lamp combined. It was installed on the footpath at the Market Place in Melton Mowbray to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887.

Sun_ 27

Manufactured at the Sun Foundry in Glasgow, the installation was completed by local companies, C. Barnes, builder; John Anderson, plumber & glazier; and the Melton Mowbray Gas Light and Coke Company. The pump was unpopular with local tradesmen who complained that children played in the water and threw water on the shop windows. It was removed to a local park named Play Close and later recycled during World War II to assist in the manufacture of armaments.

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, and the proposed design below includes a bas-relief profile of Queen Victoria. 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 capped with a ball and spike finial. The image below appears to show a dedication inscribed on the base.

melton mowbray_jubileefountain

Glossary

  • 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.
  • 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

Hedgemead Park Fountain

Location: Bath, Somerset, England

Hedgemead Park, situated below Camden Crescent, was the scene of a landslide in the 1870s in which houses collapsed. The land remained derelict for many years until the city created a plan to transform it into a park. Designed by T.B. Silcock, it was engineered to prevent future landslides and formally opened in 1889.

A drinking fountain was erected around the same time possibly 1890. Seated on a triple tiered octagonal plinth it was manufactured at Walter Macfarlane’s Saracen Foundry in Glasgow. The drinking fountain, 10’ 10” high, is a customized structure created with font number 18; a wide base with canted corners on which is set a circular shaft ornamented with water lilies. Four lion jambs support four highly decorated quatrefoil basins. The stanchion and central column are decorated with projecting acanthus leaves and relief of willow leaves and berries. Column number 32 with four consoles protruding from the column originally suspended drinking cups on chains. The capital supports an octagonal ogee pedestal surmounted by an eagle with outstretched wings.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Lions were symbolic of guardianship, and eagles represented salvation.

The drinking fountain, although no longer functioning, was recorded as a Grade II historic building on 15 October 2010.

Glossary

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Canted corner, an angled surface which cuts of a corner
  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Jamb, a projecting vertical post containing sculpture
  • 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
  • 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
  • Stanchion, an upright bar or post providing support

Horfield Common Fountain

Location: Bristol, England

W. D. Watt, Grand Master of the Oddfellows Society of Bristol, and Member of Bristol County Council, died in 1899 and was buried in Horfield Churchyard. The following year he was commemorated with the erection of a combination lamp, drinking fountain and animal trough.

Originally located at the bottom of a hill known locally as Pig Sty Hill, the fountain was a welcome respite for horses dragging heavily laden carts up the steep slope. The structure was moved to the junction of Wellington Hill West and Kellaway Avenue to accommodate widening of the road.

Manufactured at the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow drinking fountain number 45 from Walter Macfarlane’s catalogue stands 15 feet high. Seated on a circular plinth, a square pedestal with Egyptian patterned frieze designed by Alexander ‘Greek” Thomson, offered demi-lune basins on four sides with troughs for dogs at ground level. Spigots within the geometric pattern released water into the basins, and drinking cups on chains were suspended from projecting tendrils.

The griffin feet capitals support a four sided central stanchion heavily decorated with palmette and acanthus relief on three sides. The fourth side contains an inscription scroll: Erected by public subscription/to the memory of/W.D. Watts/late member of the Glo’ster/county council for this district/1900.

A fluted column with attic base arises from a highly decorated acroter. The structure capped with a central lamp roofed in with scales of opal glass cast the light downwards (design number 223.) The lamp originally lit by gas is encircled by flowers and a crown containing Maltese crosses surmounted by a trio of spiked orbs.

Although plans to restore street furniture were initiated in 2008, restoration of the drinking fountain has not been a priority.

Glossary

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Acroter, flat base
  • Attic base, a column base with two rings
  • Capital: The top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Fluted, a long rounded groove decorating the shaft of a column
  • Griffin, winged lion denotes vigilance and strength, guards treasure and priceless possessions
  • Palmette, a decorative motif resembling the fan shaped leaves of a palm tree
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Spigot, a device that controls the flow of water (tap)
  • Stanchion, an upright bar or post providing support
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

 

 


Hoylake Promenade Fountain

Location: Wirral, Cheshire, England

This drinking fountain was erected in 1901 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Jubilee. The fountain is seated on a two tiered plinth located at the Hoylake promenade in Wirral. It was listed a grade II historic building on 20 January 1988.

Although the drinking fountain was still operational in the 1970s vandalism regularly destroyed the taps, and eventually the council stopped repairing it. It has changed colour throughout the years: a shade of green in the 1960s then painted blue in the 1970s, and when it was removed for restoration in 2008, it was black and gold. It has since been returned to the original paint colour.

A special project grant from Wirral Coucil enabled restoration and the structure was transported to Wolverhampton for repairs in February 2008. The project was completed in several stages; the font, finials and dedication medallion being installed after the fountain was returned to the Promenade.

Cast iron is an unusual material to be used in conjunction with water, and rust appeared almost immediately. In 2011 repairs were required. The basin is no longer a working font although the water pipe still remains under the plinth.

The following photos show the fountain in previous decades and also in various stages of the restoration project (architectural pieces are missing.) The last photograph shows the complete structure.

Drinking fountain number 8 from Walter Macfarlane & Co.’s catalogue was manufactured at the Saracen Foundry at Possilpark in Glasgow. The structure is 9 feet 6 inches high and is seated on a two tier square plinth. The structure consists of four columns, from the capitals of which consoles with griffin terminals unite with arches formed of decorated mouldings.

Rope moulded cartouches within each lunette host an image of Queen Victoria upon which is stamped the manufacturer’s name, Macfarlane & Co. Glasgow. The fourth medallion contains an inscription, For the Children of Hoylake and Meols. On two of the sides provision was made for receiving an inscription using raised metal letters. The structure is surmounted by an open filigree dome, the finial being a crown with a pattée cross.

Under the canopy stands the font (design number 7) 5 foot 8 inches high. The basin which has a scalloped edge and decorative relief is 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 offer 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.

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