Tag Archives: New South Wales

Alexander Munro Drinking Fountain

Location: Singleton, New South Wales, Australia

Alexander Munro was born in Ardesier, Scotland. He was transported as a convict to Australia at the age of 17 for the crime of stealing money, two pieces of cheese and some raisins from a grocery store. After his release in New South Wales, he created many businesses including the Caledonia Hotel. He became Singleton’s first Mayor and served for 5 consecutive years.

Known for his generosity, he commissioned a drinking fountain in 1887 to supply water to the poor dogs that followed their masters from the country and had nowhere to quench their thirst. Permission to erect the fountain in the garden in front of the Singleton Gaol was received from the Colonial Secretary’s office in Sydney with condition that the fence was re-erected at the Borough Council’s expense.

The erection of the fountain was delayed for several years as a dispute erupted regarding the ongoing cost of water and gas supply. Alexander Munro solved the dispute by offering to cover the cost of pipes to connect water, but the project was further delayed while Council decided which location was most suitable.

Three years after the fountain arrived in Singleton it still had not been erected and was lying in a back yard with weeds growing around it. Alexander died on 2 February 1889 without ever seeing the fountain installed.

Mr. Walter Lamb provided the town with a corner of land, free of cost, to enable the fountain to be erected. It was originally located in George Street, at the intersection of Campbell and Cambridge streets, almost opposite the Caledonia hotel which was built and owned by Alexander Munro. It was painted, gilded and varnished in December, and finally dedicated on Thursday 31 August 1890. Mrs. R H. Levien unveiled a large Australian flag which was folded around the column, and using a ceremonial sterling silver cup she filled it from the streaming water.

The fountain was a great boon to the town and made it unnecessary for cattle and horses to go to the river to drink. Vandalism occurred in 1894 when one of the drinking cups was detached and thrown into the trough. By the end of 1909 the dog trough contained no water and was filled with rubbish. Thirsty dogs leapt into the horse trough and lay there contaminating the drinking water.

With the advent of the motor vehicle, the fountain became an obstacle and a proposal to erect a fence around the fountain was rejected. Notices were printed cautioning drivers from damaging the fountain whilst driving.

Due to neglect of the structure, a fracture which had formed in the base of the column in November 1911 caused the column to lean. The drinking bowl was removed in 1935 and sold to Mr. P. Nelson who proceeded to use it as a goldfish bowl in the garden of his ornate home. The remaining structure was dismantled in June 1947. It was later rescued from the Council landfill and relocated to the garden of the Singleton Historical Society Museum in Burdekin Park.

An interesting note from 26 February 1924: a swarm of grasshoppers infested the city and the water in the basin of the fountain was covered in drowned insects.

The 18 ft. drinking fountain was number 27 manufactured by Walter Macfarlane & Co. at the Saracen Foundry, Glasgow. The design was well suited for Street Crossings, Squares, Market Places, etc., as it afforded drinking accommodation for a large number of horses and drivers, and effectively lit a wide space, with the least possible obstruction to other traffic.

It provided a drinking trough for horses with a small basin for dogs at ground level. The trough was a circular cast iron basin supported on legs in the form of horses’ hooves. The central stanchion supported the structure which is now seated on a circular brick plinth. A central fluted column was capped with a hexagonal lamp roofed in with scales of opal glass (design number 223). The lantern which cast the light downwards was surmounted with a crown terminal. A shield on the post offered inscription: From Alexander Munro To The People Of Singleton 1887. Four projecting tendrils suspended cups allowing humans to drink from the spouting water whilst horses drank from the large basin.

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In closing, a poem written about the Alexander Munro Fountain in Singleton.
The Fountain
For sixty years it stood in the street,
That landmark we knew as the fountain,
“Twas there that the drivers and horses would meet
When they hauled the big logs from the mountain.

The horses refreshed by the water they drank,
The great teams from all over the Valley,
But the drivers, we think avoided the tank
And had a few on the quiet at the “Cally.”

Progress demands and times marches on,
We must widen our roads for the traffic,
But we think of the past, now the landmark has gone
And the corners won’t look quite so graphic.

With our motors and buses and roads up to date,
We think of teamsters and logs from the mountain,
And reflect on the driver whose team was too late
Not home and hosed, for the “Cally” was closed, so he drank with his horse at the fountain.
~ by T.F. Melody~

Glossary

  • Plinth, Flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.
  • Stanchion, an upright bar or post providing support
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

Sydney’s Fountains

Location: Sydney, Australia

Mayor Renny chose the design for the fountain from an illustrated catalogue of Walter Macfarlane & Co., ordering eight drinking fountains for the city of Sydney. They arrived in July 1870. Historical documents reveal that another two fountains were purchased sometime later.

  • Green Park, Darlinghurst Road
  • Wentworth Park, East end
  • Wentworth Park, West end
  • Prince’s Street near the Public school
  • Hunter Street and O’Connell Street
  • Loftus House at Custom House
  • Moore Park, Randwick Road
  • Moore Park, Cleveland Street
  • Prince Alfred Park, Exhibition building
  • Beare Park, Elizabeth Bay

Drinking fountains at Loftus House (Macquarie Place), Beare Park and Railway Square have been previously documented. You can view them by using the search box on the home page.

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 consists of four columns, from the capitals of which consoles with griffin terminals unite with arches formed of decorated mouldings.

Rope moulded cartouches contained within each lunette host the image of a crane, and an open bible displaying a verse from St. John’s Gospel chapter 4 verse 14, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst.’ The remaining two lunettes contain the City of Sydney Coat of Arms: a shield charged with a ship and beehive and working bees, surmounted by a mural crown impaled with a pick-axe surmounted by a star. The sinister supporter is an aboriginal native with a spear; the dexter supporter an English sailor. Motto, “I take, but I surrender.” On two of the sides provision was made for receiving an inscription using raised metal letters; whilst on the other two sides was the useful monition, Keep the pavement dry. Civic virtues such as temperance were often extolled in inscriptions on drinking fountains. The structure is surmounted by an open filigree dome, the finial being a crown with a pattée cross.

Under the canopy stood the font (design number 7) 5 foot 8 inches high. The basin which had a scalloped edge and decorative relief was 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 offered drinking cups suspended by chains. The terminal was a crane. The original font no longer exists and has been replaced with bubblers.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Griffins are symbolic ofguardians 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

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Image Sources
http://photosau.com.au/Cos/scripts/home.asp

http://sydney-eye.blogspot.ca/2010/04/folly-of-ozymandias.html

http://acmssearch.sl.nsw.gov.au/s/search.html?collection=slnsw

In Gratitude
Many thanks to ‘PellethePoet’ who supplied me with links to 19th century photographs at the NSW archives


Railway Square Fountain

Location: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

In 1870 the Mayor of Sydney selected a design of a cast-iron canopied drinking fountain from an illustrated catalogue of Walter Macfarlane & Co., Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, Scotland. The fountain located at Railway Square near the tram shelters was customized to incorporate the City’s coat of arms. Unfortunately, it no longer exists.

In 1914 Lord Mayor Alderman Richards stated that ‘in many cases persons would prefer drinking at a fountain to slaking their thirst at a bar, and more fountains would at least be a small set-off to the dangerous temptations of the public-house.’

Drinking fountain number 8 was 9 feet 6 inches high and consisted of four columns, from the capitals of which consoles with griffin terminals united with arches formed of decorated mouldings.

Rope moulded cartouches within each lunette hosted the image of a crane, and an open bible displayed a verse from St. John’s Gospel chapter 4 verse 14, ‘Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst.’ On two of the sides provision was made for receiving an inscription using raised metal letters; whilst on the other two sides was the useful monition, Keep The Pavement Dry. Civic virtues such as temperance were often extolled in inscriptions on drinking fountains. The structure was surmounted by an open filigree dome, the finial being a crown with a pattée cross.

Under the canopy stood the original font (design number 7) 5 feet 8 inches high. The basin which had a scalloped edge and decorative relief was 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 offered drinking cups suspended by chains. The terminal was a crane.

Initially, an iron tap regulated the flow of water and was retrieved with pewter drinking cups. In the interest of hygiene circa 1916, the cups were removed and the font was replaced with a bubbler so named because it produced a flow of bubbling water. The bubblers were produced by John Danks & Co.

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.

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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

Monro Memorial Fountain

Location: Bathurst, NSW, Australia

Mr. Frederick G. Monro, an accountant with the Bathurst Commercial bank, in cooperation with Dr. Thomas Machattie and Dr. William Spencer proposed that land previously used by the Bathurst Gaol should be utilized as a public park.

The cast iron fountain at the George Street entrance to Machattie Park, was erected in 1891 as a memorial to the Monro family on their departure from the city. They were the recipients of a farewell testimonial dinner in 1891 when they moved to Dungog where Mr. Monro undertook the position of bank manager.

Mrs. Monro was very active in the community and accomplished in raising funds to create and maintain Machattie Park. As President of the Bathurst Poor Relief Society she worked hard for those who were needy and gave her time willingly and with great joy. She was a celebrated and well loved citizen and as a mark of esteem subscriptions from the citizens paid for a drinking fountain to be erected in her memory.

In 1917 Bathurst Council approved a recommendation to paint the fountain and purchase two drinking faucets with swan pipes and to place a collar around the centre portion of the fountain.

In 1990 the fountain was treated for corrosion, drinking spouts were repaired and the structure repainted.

The fountain was originally placed level on the ground and a letter to the editor of the Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal in December 1891 commented that it would be more attractive if raised a few feet above the ground. At some time this suggestion was used and it currently stands on a two tiered octagonal plinth.

Drinking fountain number 8 from Walter Macfarlane & Co.’s catalogue was manufactured by the Saracen Foundry at Possilpark in Glasgow, the most prolific architectural iron founders in the world. The structure is 9 feet 6 inches high and 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 the image of a crane on two sides, a shield containing the dedication Monro /Memorial Fountain / 1891, and a shield with the inscription Erected / 1891. On two of the sides provision was made for receiving an inscription using raised metal letters; whilst on the other two sides was the useful monition, Keep The Pavement Dry. Civic virtues such as temperance were often extolled in inscriptions on drinking fountains. 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

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Witcombe Memorial Drinking Fountain

Location: Hay, New South Wales, Australia

The fountain is located at the corner of Moppet and Lachlan, in Hay, New South Wales, Australia. The official opening was in 1884 although the first flow of water was a month earlier in 1883. The fountain was donated to the people of Hay from Mayor John Witcombe. It is believed that he was the first Mayor to have presented his community with a fountain.

The fountain was listed on the National Register of the Estate in 1980. A decade later, the structure was restored by the Hay Shire Council. At one time it had been painted white but has been changed to a darker colour. It was rededicated in 2009 in conjunction with the Hay Sesquicentenary celebrations

Drinking fountain number 8 from Walter Macfarlane & Co.’s catalogue was manufactured at the Saracen Foundry at Possilpark in Glasgow, the most prolific architectural iron founders in the world. The structure is 9 feet 6 inches high and 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 the New South Wales Coat of Arms and a dedication shield: Presented to the People of Hay by John Witcombe Mayor 1883 is present on two sides.

On two of the sides provision was made for receiving an inscription using raised metal letters; whilst on the other two sides was the useful monition, Keep The Pavement Dry. Civic virtues such as temperance were often extolled in inscriptions on drinking fountains. 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 was a crane. The influenza pandemic of 1918 initiated the conversion of the fountain to a bubbler which is still operational today.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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