Tag Archives: Heritage Lottery Fund

Band of Hope Fountain

Location: Alexandra Park, Manchester, England

In the mid-19th century, a Temperance group named Band of Hope was founded in Leeds. It was directed towards working class children who were abused and maltreated often due to the effects of alcohol use within the family. From the age of six members were required to take a pledge of total abstinence.

“I shall always be of my best behaviour,
Shall give of my best service,
And God helping me,
I will refrain from all alcoholic drink. Amen.”

The Band of Hope also instilled high moral values to assist them in becoming valuable members of society. Weekly meetings which included lectures and activities were an escape from the poverty and tedium of working class children.

A drinking fountain cast by Andrew Handyside’s Brittania Iron Works was commissioned by the members of 17 Bands of Hope in Chorlton and Hulme. It was erected in Alexandra Park on 23 Sep 1876.

Alexandra Park 1954

Alexandra Park 1954

Casting number 48 was originally seated on an octagonal plinth with two stone steps to assist the reach of smaller individuals. The cylindrical structure with attic base was comprised of six fluted columns with decorative volutes which support a cupola with Neptune mask frieze and a cornice with leaf detail. The solid dome was surmounted by a sculptured basin and a putto carrying an urn on his shoulder. The original font was an unusual form resembling a capped urn with lion masks spouting water. A dedication plaque was attached to the cylindrical base.

Brittania Iron Works casting 48

Brittania Iron Works casting 48

In 2012 a planned restoration of the park funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Manchester City Corporation included restoring the fountain which retained little of the original design elements: the putto was missing, corrosion had caused the domed roof to collapse, the font was broken, and the structure had been tagged with graffiti.

Heritage Project Contracts, specializing in cultural heritage and historic buildings, utilized blast cleaning to remove decades of paint and rust. Hargreaves Foundry of Halifax was hired to recreate missing elements from photographs. The restoration was completed in September 2014.

Glossary

  • Attic base, A column base with two rings
  • Cornice, A molding or ornamentation that projects from the top of a building
  • Cupola, A small, domed structure on top of a roof
  • Frieze, The horizontal part of a classical entablature just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Mask, 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.
  • Putto, A figure in a work of art depicted as a chubby male child, usually nude
  • Volute, a spiral scroll-like ornament found in the capital of a column
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Dolphin Fountain

Location: Preston, Lancashire, England

In the mid 19th century, within the south east corner of Avenham Park close to the Old Tram Bridge, an arched recess was built into sandstone to house a natural spring which had the reputation of never running dry and being so pure that it could cure ailments. In the 1870s a drinking fountain was erected over the spring to allow the public improved access to the crystal clear water.

The fountain consisted of a dolphin sculptured in serpentine (a dark green mineral consisting of hydrated magnesium silicate, sometimes mottled or spotted like a snake’s skin). Water flowed from the mouth of the dolphin into a white marble basin in the shape of a shell.

Due to analysis of the spring water in the 1880s a very high percentage of animal matter was discovered; and the spring was therefore diverted from the fountain with the intention of piping water from the nearby town of Longridge.

In the mid 20th century, two conflicting events occurred: the fountain structure disappeared leaving only a protruding pipe, and the stone well was recorded as a Grade II historic listing on 27 September 1979.

A 21st century multi-million pound restoration project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the North West Regional Development Agency to regenerate Preston’s parks included a proposal to restore the historic drinking fountain. Consent was received to alter the listed structure, and a replica of the Dolphin Fountain was created in cast iron with a demi-lune fluted basin. The fountain was once again connected to the natural underground spring and installation was completed in 2011.

Although the sculpture resembles a sea serpent, this figurine is relatively common in the Victorian period and was representative of a dolphin. They were recognized as a good omen and a symbol of protection.

Glossary:

  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Fluted, a long rounded groove decorating

 


Robert Burns Memorial Drinking Fountain

Location: Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, England

The only statue of Rabbie Burns in the North of England was erected in Walker Park, Newcastle upon Tyne to commemorate a visit by Burns to the city of Newcastle on 29th May 1787. The statue, mounted on a drinking fountain, was donated by the Tyneside Burns Club with subscription from the many Scottish workers in the local shipyards who had raised money over a five year period.

Unveiled on 13 July 1901 by Hugh Crawford Smith MP, he announced that Burns would probably have liked something stronger in the fountain than water, to which a voice in the crowd shouted ‘Aye wad he, a glass o’ th’ hard stuff’, which was met with laughter.

The drinking fountain was a customized structure manufactured by Walter Macfarlane’s Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, Scotland. The base was an octagonal plinth with four steps rising to an octagonal platform on which the structure was seated.

The font, design number 18, had a wide base with canted corners, on which was set a circular shaft ornamented with water lilies. Four lion jambs supported four highly decorated quatrefoil basins. The 6 feet 6 inch central column was an abbreviated version of column number 32 decorated with projecting acanthus leaves, and a dedication shield bearing the legend: Presented / To / The District Council / By / The Burns Club / Walker On Tyne /1901. Tin cups were suspended on chains at the base of the capital.

The circular capital supported a 6 foot statue of Robert Burns, Scotland’s National Bard. Sculpted by D. W. Stevenson of Edinburgh, it depicted Burns standing contrapposto with arm outstretched in the act of reciting ‘A Man’s A Man For ‘A That’. The capital hosted an engraving with lines from the previously mentioned poem, It’s Coming Yet For A’ That, / That Man To Man, The World O’er / Shall Brothers Be For A’ That.

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Neglected due to lack of use, and vandalised in the 1970s, the head and arms of the statue were severed.

Restoration of the statue was commissioned by the North East Federation of Burns Societies in 1975 and undertaken by a firm of Hatfield-based welders. Missing fingers on the right hand were recreated using glass fibre.

The statue was then returned to its position atop the drinking fountain and relocated to Heaton Park where it was unveiled on 24th September 1975. Almost a decade later the statue was removed by vandals and rolled down a hill where it broke into pieces. The fragments were recovered and stored by Newcastle City Council at Jesmond Dene Nursery in February 1984. The fate of the cast iron drinking fountain and inscribed plaque is unknown.

Three decades later, pieces of the statue were discovered in the depot. Two statues were created in cast iron; a version containing original pieces which is in the new building in Jesmond Dene; and a replica which was erected in the original location within Walker Park in 2016 thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of the Parks for People project.

The original design of Casting #19 included a statue of Samson. It was modified in many ways to suit the purchaser including height of the column and the statue terminal. Examples shown in the slideshow below illustrate the detail of the drinking fountain upon which Robert Burns once stood in Walker Park.

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
  • Contrapposto, stance where one leg bears the weight and the other leg is relaxed
  • Jamb, a projecting vertical post containing sculpture
  • 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

 


Lisburn’s Wallace Fountains

Location: Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Ireland

Sir Richard Wallace was a wealthy English art collector, philanthropist and Member of Parliament for Lisburn, Northern Ireland from 1873 to 1885 before retiring in Paris, France. When the Franco Prussian war damaged many of the aqueducts in Paris there remained little access to clean water for many of the most needy Parisians. His solution to this problem was the erection of public drinking fountains.

The famous Caratyd drinking fountains were manufactured by the Val d’Osne Foundry from a work of art by the French sculptor, Charles-Auguste Lebourg, in 1872. A stamp is visible on the fountain: Ch. Lebourg SC 1872.

Sir Richard donated five fountains to his former parliamentary constituency at Lisburn in 1876. Each was to be placed in a working class district of the city.

  1. at the junction of Market Place and Bow Street;
  2. in Market Square;
  3. in the Castle Gardens, which remains in its original position;
  4. at the junction of Seymour Street, Low Road and Millbrook, in front of the Seymour Street Methodist Church;
  5. in the Wallace Park, main walk.

During the war years three of the fountains were dismantled to accommodate the demand for metal to make armaments. Numbers 2 and 3 are the only remaining fountains.

The fountain at Market Square was relocated to Wallace Gardens circa 1922 to allow for the erection of a monument to General John Nicholson. Vandalised in the 1970s and 1980s it was returned to Market Square where the monument and fountain resided in a sunken garden. In 2013 the fountain was returned to its previous home in Wallace Park.

The Castle Gardens and its Wallace fountain were restored by Lisburn City Council with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The base of the famous forest green fountain (the colour chosen to blend in with parks and trees) is a Greek cross plinth with canted corners from which the pedestal arises. An elaborate console decorated with a scallop shell from which a string of pearls flows separates four column panels on which the image of a water serpent is coiled around a trident. The trident is associated with the mythological Poseidon who struck the earth and water sprung up. A scallop is symbolic of baptism and fertility, and pearls represent purity and wisdom.

A cornice contains the name of the manufacturer, Val D’Osne, and another records the name of the sculptor, Ch. Lebourg SC / 1872. Four caratytids, each subtly different in posture and dress, stand with raised arms to support a fish scale dome with fleur-de-lys cornice. The four dolphins with entwined tails at the apex are a symbolic protector of all things related to water.

The statues in feminine form represent kindness, simplicity, charity and sobriety (at a time when the Temperance Movement was very active.) They also represent the 4 seasons: Simplicity symbolizes spring, Charity: summer, Sobriety: autumn and Kindness: winter. The statues differ from each other in several other ways: Simplicity and Sobriety have their eyes closed; whereas the eyes of Kindness and Charity are open. They are also different in the position of the knee and feet, or by the manner in which their tunic is knotted at the bodice.

A stream of water descended from the interior of the dome into a basin. Tin cups were originally chained to the fountains until public hygiene became a prevalent social issue.

Glossary

  • Canted corner, an angled surface which cuts of a corner
  • Caryatid, a sculpted female figure serving as an architectural support taking the place of a column or a pillar supporting an entablature on her head
  • Cornice, a molding or ornamentation that projects from the top of a building
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.

Dalmuir Fountain

Location: Glasgow, Scotland

Dalmuir Park, at Clydebank & Erskine in Glasgow, was opened in 1906. The following year a canopied drinking fountain was donated by Provost Samuel Leckie. Renovation of the park in 2012 included restoration of the fountain by JPS Restoration & Property Services. Funding for the project was shared by the Heritage Lottery Fund and West Dunbartonshire Counci.

Design number 20, an elaborate 18 feet by 4 feet fountain, was purchased from Walter Macfarlane & Co, and manufactured at the Saracen Foundry, Possilpark, Glasgow, Scotland. Seated on a double 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 cusped arches were trimmed with rope mouldings. Cartouches contained within each lunette displayed alternate images of cranes and swans and offered shields for memorial. The Coat of Arms of the Burgh of Clydebank is displayed. On each side arch faceplates provided 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. The internal capitals contain flowers, lion mascarons area placed on internal lunettes, and statues of owls sit on enlarged column heads. The structure is surmounted with an eagle finial.

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.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Griffins are symbolic of guardians of priceless possessions; lions are symbolic of guardianship; owls are symbolic of guardians of the afterlife, and eagles represent immortality.

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 Filigree, fine ornamental work
  • Cusped Arch, the point of intersection of lobed or scalloped forms
  • 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
  • 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

 


Pitlochry Railway Station Fountain

Location: Pitlochry, Perthshire, Scotland

Pitlochry Railway Station opened in 1863 and was restored in 2013 to celebrate the Sesquicentennial. As part of the celebration, the drinking fountain located on the platform was also restored courtesy of the Railway Heritage Trust, Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust, and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The Victorian fountain was manufactured at the Saracen Foundry, Glasgow, and is identified as casting number 7. The font is a single pedestal basin with four decorative columns rising from an octagonal plinth. 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 outstretched tendrils offered drinking cups suspended by chains. The terminal is a crane recognized as a symbol of vigilance.

Reports that it was originally located at Strathyre Railway Station  and relocated to the station at Pitlochry are incorrect. The Strathyre drinking fountain was an award for the ‘best kept station’ on the Callander & Oban Railway line (Strathyre Railway Station was famous for its superb gardening displays.) It is currently located in a garden and visible from the road.

Glossary:

  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal