Tag Archives: Golden Jubilee

Abbotshall Churchyard Fountain

Location: Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland

This drinking fountain located in Abbotshall Churchyard is believed to have been erected to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria which occurred in 1887.

In the late 20th century, the cast iron fountain which had deteriorated due to adverse weather conditions, and a lack of maintenance, was also missing the finial which protruded from the basin.

The fountain was restored by Heritage Engineering in 2001. It was re-installed and unveiled on Saturday, 9th March 2002 by Mrs. Margaret Dean, Lord Lieutenant of Fife.

Design number 6 from Walter Macfarlane’s catalogue was manufactured by the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow. Standing 4ft. 11ins. on a square plinth, the fountain features an octagonal base from which a single decorated pedestal supports a basin. The sculptured finial rising from the basin is a shortened version of the original.

The original finial featured a pedestal with a capital which supported an acorn in the centre of four elaborate consoles. The consoles representing foliage supported four drinking cups suspended on chains.

ironworks jpb

Used with permission, John P, Bolton, Scottish Ironwork Foundation

Water flowed from a spout into the drinking cup by pressing its edge against a projecting stud below the spout. A self-closing valve allowed for operation with only one hand.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times; an acorn symbolizes that the roots of a family or institution are old and deep.


  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests




Jubilee Clock

Location: Douglas, Isle of Man

Situated at Victoria St and Loch Promenade this clock tower drinking fountain was donated by GW Dumbell in 1887 as a commemoration of the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria’s reign.

Manufactured at Walter Macfarlane’s Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, the tower was 32 feet high. The front of the octagonal pedestal originally offered a large drinking trough for horses supported by legs in the form of hooves and fetlocks. Receptacles for human consumption were supplied in the form of small basins with a trefoil art-form located between the basin and the tap above.

Bands of quatrefoil fret are in each of the eight panels surrounding the pedestal. Seated above angled gables are eight commemorative panels of alternating cartouches with peaked terminals and arch faceplates. In rotational order:

  • 1887
  • The Jubilee Clock / Was Refurbished In 1996 / As Part Of / Douglas Corporation’s Centenary / Celebrations. / It Was Recomissioned At A / Ceremony Performed By The / Worshipful The Mayor, Mr. Councillor / D.W. Christian J.P. / On Sunday 22nd September / 1996.
  • Queen
  • A bust of Queen Victoria
  • Victoria
  • Presented / by / George William Dumbell / as a Jubilee gift / to the / Town of Douglas / June 1887
  • Jubilee
  • A bust of Queen Victoria

A two tiered acroter supports an attic base with four slender columns. The column capital supports a four sided clock bound by decorative spandrels. The acroteria is edged with elaborate scroll relief, and at each corner is an acorn finial, a symbol of life and immortality. The structure is surmounted with a decorative openwork corona terminating in a ball finial. A chiming bell cast by John Taylor & Co. of Loughborough, England is suspended in the centre of the corona. The 8-day clock mechanism was hand cranked and used a descending weight in the column. It was converted to electricity in 1965. The four clock faces originally lit by small gas jets were also converted to use electricity.

The clocks were dispatched to England for restoration in 1996 at which time an electronically operated mechanism and chime was installed.

On 20 September 2002 the structure was registered on the Protected Buildings Register.

In 2012 an application was made to move the clock tower to ease traffic flow. The move of eight metres has centrally positioned it in the street and enabled pedestrians to walk around the clock. Moving the clock tower, which weighs five tons, and seating it on a circular marble plinth, took two days. The feat was completed on 25 October 2013.


  • 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
  • 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.
  • Corona, a crown
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Fret, running or repeated ornament
  • Gable, triangular portion of a wall between edges of a dual pitched roof
  • 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
  • Spandrel, the triangular space between two arches
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal
  • Trefoil, An ornamental design of three rounded lobes