Tag Archives: Hawkhead Cemetery

Hawkhead Cemetery Fountain

Location: Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland

The cast iron drinking fountain located in Hawkhead Cemetery was presented by Provost Archibald Mackenzie of Milliken in July 1891 following the opening of the cemetery. It was repainted in 2009.

The canopied drinking fountain is design number 20, an elaborate 18 feet by 4 feet fountain, sold by Walter Macfarlane & Co. and manufactured at the Saracen Foundry, Possilpark, Glasgow, Scotland. Seated on a triple octagonal plinth, the open filigree canopy is supported by eight columns with griffin terminals which are positioned over capitals with foliage frieze above square bases.

The highly decorated drip cusped arches are trimmed with rope mouldings. Cartouches contained within each lunette display images of cranes and two shields containing the coat of arms of the Corporation of Paisley, and a dedication shield; Presented by Archibald Mackenzie Esq. of Milliken to the Corporation of Paisley for Hawkhead Cemetery July 1891.

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Creative Commons License, Lairich Rig. Source: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/3609235

On each side arch faceplates provide a flat surface for an 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, ribbed dome. Inside the dome are lion mascarons and the internal capitals support statues of owls seated on enlarged column heads. The structure is surmounted with an eagle finial.

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Creative Commons License, Lairich Rig. Source: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/3609235

Under the canopy stands the font (design number 18.) A circular shaft, ornamented with water lilies, rests on a wide base with canted corners. Four lion jambs support four highly decorated quatrefoil basins. Rising from the centre is a pyramid shaped stanchion decorated with swan and bird decoration. A kylix-shaped lamp terminal with four consoles offer drinking cups suspended by chains.

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Creative Commons License, Lairich Rig. Source: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/3609235

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Griffins are symbolic of guardians of priceless possessions; lions are symbolic of guardianship; doves are synonymous with peace, and owls are symbolic of guardians of the afterlife. Cranes are recognized as a symbol of vigilance and are often depicted standing on one leg while holding a stone in the claws of the other foot. Legend states that if the watchful crane fell asleep the stone would fall and waken the bird.

Glossary

  • Canted corner, an angled surface which cuts of a corner
  • 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
  • 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
  • Jamb, a projecting vertical post containing sculpture
  • Kylix, a Grecian style drinking cup
  • Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
  • Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal
  • 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, upright bar or post providing support
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

 

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