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York Fountain

Location: Derby Park, Bootle

The drinking fountain was commissioned by the Bootle Health Committee to celebrate the royal marriage between the Duke and Duchess of York. It was erected in the grounds of Bootle Hospital in 1894.

This cast-iron drinking fountain, with four basins arranged around a tall ornate column, originally stood in the grounds of Bootle hospital. Due to increased traffic in the hospital grounds, it was relocated to Derby Park in 1935. The fountain was restored in 2008.

The fountain was manufactured at Walter Macfarlane’s Saracen Foundry, and stands on a two tiered octagonal plinth. Drinking fountain number 19 was originally 10’ 10”which included a statue of Samson. The wide base is in the form of a St. Andrew’s cross, 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 floral relief. A dedication shield records: Erected By Subscription / In / Commemoration Of The / Marriage Of / T.R.M / The Duke And Duchess Of York / On 6th July / 1893. Four tendrils protrude from the column to suspend drinking cups on chains. The terminal was a statue of Samson, which is no longer present.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Lions are symbolic of guardianship and Samson is symbolic of strength.

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Glossary

  • 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
  • Stanchion, an upright bar or post providing support
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

Brown Memorial Fountain

Location: Lodge/Court Street, Haddington, East Lothian, Scotland

Cast by Walter Macfarlane’s Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, this drinking fountain was erected in 1924 from a monetary donation by Mrs. Brown to the town; hence the historical reference of the Brown Memorial Fountain.

Design number 19 (10’ 10” high) was seated on a two tier circular plinth. It has a wide base in the form of a St. Andrew’s cross, 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 floral relief. Four tendrils (still visible) protruded from the column to suspend drinking cups on chains. The capital supports the finial, a statue of Samson. Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Lions are symbolic of guardianship and Samson is symbolic of strength.

During restoration in 1998 the drinking fountain was converted to an ornamental fountain and now rests on a square plinth set inside a large circular stone basin. A green cast iron railing acts as a barrier and a decorative element. The design consists of thistles alternating with gold stars. Four large brass taps have been added from which water pours into the basins. Lights are positioned around the circumference of the stone basin and jets spray water towards the structure.

Tourists are often tempted to throw coins into the basin wishing for good luck. These funds are periodically donated to charity. As the fountain is in the town centre, it is occasionally the target of pranksters. One highly successful prank involved soap powder which led to suds pouring onto the High Street.

The fountain was listed a category C historic building in 1977. It was cleaned and repainted in 1998.

Glossary

  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • 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
  • Stanchion, an upright bar or post providing support

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Sidney Fountain

Location: Stafford, Staffordshire, England

A fountain was erected on Gaol Square in 1889 in memory of Thomas Sidney who was born in a house on the Square in 1805. It was donated by his wife to honour her husband who became Lord Mayor of London, 1853 – 1854.

Drinking fountain number 19, was manufactured at Walter Macfarlane’s Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, Scotland, and sat on a two tiered circular plinth. It had a wide base in the form of a St. Andrew’s cross, on which was set a circular shaft, ornamented with water lilies. Four troughs for dogs were set between four lion jambs that supported four highly decorated quatrefoil basins. Horses also drank from the elevated basins. The stanchion and central column were decorated with floral relief, swans and cranes. A dedication shield was mounted on the central column. A kylix-shaped vase terminal with four projecting tendrils offered drinking cups suspended by chains. The fluted central column with two decorated brackets supported two lamps.

The statue of Samson was replaced within two decades and is currently part of the Staffordshire Museum collections. The central column was extended and a third lamp was erected at the apex. In 1916 the third lamp was removed, the column shortened and a clock with four faces installed. It was presented by George Bruckshaw to celebrate fifty years of residence in Stafford.

Unfortunately this fountain is no longer in existence. The fountain was destroyed by a motor vehicle in 1928. The clock was restored and mounted on a single post with four lamp globes facing compass directions. Although no vestige of the drinking fountain remained the clock was located near to the original location of Samson.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Lions are symbolic of guardianship and Samson is symbolic of strength.

Glossary

  • Kylix, a grecian style drinking cup
  • 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
  • Stanchion, upright bar or post providing support
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

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Image Sources

Image produced from the Staffordshire Past Track service www.staffspasttrack.org.uk

With permission of Landmark Information Group Ltd. http://www.landmark-information.co.uk

And Ordnance Survey http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk

Staffordshire Arts & Museum Service

Stafford Historical and Civic Society

Newcastle Borough Museum and Art Gallery

 

Edward VII Coronation Memorial Fountain