Tag Archives: Tasmania

Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee Horse Trough and Lamp Standard

Location: Longford, Tasmania

To celebrate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, a lamp was erected on 23 June 1887 in front of Mr. Whitfield’s dispensary on the corner of Wellington and Marlborough Streets in Longford. Mr. Whitfield subsequently donated ornamental fixtures for the electric light in 1911.

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In 1896, Mr. J. Smale secured public subscriptions to erect a fountain at the site of the Jubilee lamp to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897. The structure was manufactured by Bogle & Clark Engineers for Longford Water Trust. The circular cast iron basin was 2 ft. 6 in high and 4ft 6 in in diameter with a depth of 10ins. It was supported by a central fluted column and four legs in the form of horses’ hooves. The column rising from the basin supported the lamp. Yoke maintenance arms were positioned beneath the lantern.

The structure having been built to accommodate cattle was no match for the arrival of the motor car. In May 1924, a resident backed his car into it with such force that the fountain was dislodged and the lamp-post broken. Five years later in 1929 the drinking fountain was again repaired after being badly damaged in a collision only to suffer the same fate in 1939 when another motor vehicle collided with it in the early hours of the morning. It was moved 10 feet by the impact and badly damaged. At that time, it was decided to disconnect the water supply to prevent cows from gathering to drink as a separate water source was available for cattle a short distance away.

The trough was restored in 1988 by Glasgow Engineering (previously known as Bogle & Clark) as part of Australia’s bicentennial celebrations. It is located in the area known as Heritage Corner.

Glossary

  • Fluted, a long rounded groove
  • Yoke maintenance arms, the bars near the top of the street light which supported the lamplighter’s ladder

 

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Cameron Memorial Fountain

Location: Launceston, Tasmania

The drinking fountain/horse trough at the corner of St John and Patterson Streets in Launceston was donated to the town in 1884 by Emma Walker in memory of her late father John Cameron Esquire JP., a merchant, an investor in real estate, and a Justice of the Peace. The fountain was erected in 1885 in front of the Post Office.

The trough was moved circa 1938 as it was seldom used in that part of the city. It was relocated to the Marine Board at Lower St. John Street, near the Customs House, Esplanade where there were still numerous horse drawn vehicles in the vicinity of the wharves. When the Sewerage Treatment plant was later built on that site it was given a temporary home in the Trustees Court near Centreway Arcade.

In 1964 the fountain was moved again to the rear of Franklin House Museum which is owned by the National Trust at Youngtown. It is currently located near the single storey schoolhouse, having been donated by the Launceston City Council. Following a restoration appeal, an authentic lamp was purchased at auction and restored by volunteers Ian Smith and David Ragan.

The fountain is design #31 from the catalogue of Walter MacFarlane’s Saracen Foundry in Glasgow. Seated on a circular stone plinth, the wide base is in the form of a St. Andrew’s cross with four lion jambs supporting four elaborately decorated quatrefoil basins for horses. The stanchion is decorated with bands of acanthus and alternating panels of cranes and swans.

Four consoles protrude from a circular fluted shaft to suspend drinking cups on chains. The standard design was offered with a round lamp. However, Emma decided that it would be better to have one with panes, in case of breakage, and requested that the monogram J.C. be engraved on each pane. A shield was mounted to the column with the inscription, This / Fountain Is Erected / To The Memory Of / The Late / John Cameron / Of This Town / By His Daughter / Emma / 1884

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Glossary:

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Fluted Shaft, a long rounded groove decorating the shaft of a column
  • Jamb, a projecting vertical post containing sculpture
  • 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

 

 


Launceston Design #27

Location: Launceston, Tasmania

Launceston was a city rife with drinking fountains/horse trough combinations in the 19th century, and design number 27 from the catalogue of Walter Macfarlane & Co. was a popular purchase. This first image is from the late 1800s near the Launceston and Western Railway station on Invermay Road. It was donated by The Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals for the use of travelling stock. Unfortunately, in 1910, it was removed to allow for construction of the Launceston Municipal Tramway. It was sold as scrap metal and no longer exists.

Invermay rd

Another example of the trough with a gas lamp was donated to the town by Alderman Adye Douglas Esq. and officially unveiled on 30 November 1883 (the following year, he became Premier of Tasmania). It was erected on the High Street, and although the location was chosen to allow light to be cast on Lawrence Street, High Street, Elphin Road, and Brisbane Street, its suitability was questioned as it was believed that horses stopping to drink would hinder other traffic in the street. In the year 1910, prior to the opening of the Tramway, this fountain was also moved to allow for construction.

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Used with permission, John Hutton, Glasgow Engineering

The original 18 ft. drinking fountain was a modified version of design number 27 manufactured by 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.

The fountain was situated on a concrete plinth providing a drinking trough for horses with four small basins for dogs at ground level. The 6 feet 6 inches in diameter trough was a circular cast iron basin supported on legs in the form of horses’ hooves. The water was regulated by a small patent cistern, which was self-acting, and when the troughs were full the ball rose and shut the water off.

The central stanchion with four decorative consoles suspended cups allowing humans to drink. The water flow was operated with two bib valves which released water when pressed. A memorial shield painted brown was situated at the base of the fluted column inscribed with gold letters; Presented / To The Town Of Launceston / By / Adye Douglas Esq M.H.A. / An Alderman Of The Town / From Its Incorporation / Alfred Harrap / Mayor / C. W. Rocher / Town Clerk / 1883. The column was originally capped with an octagonal gilded lamp roofed in with scales of opal glass (design number 223). The lantern which cast the light downwards was surmounted with a crown terminal.

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The structure changed throughout the years, and at one point in history, the lamp pillar was removed; replaced with a large basin decorated with lion mascarons and painted green.

Glasgow Engineering (established in 1892 in Launceston) was contracted by Launceston City Council to restore it to its original design. The restoration work was done to a high standard by recasting parts in cast iron and re-manufacturing the lamp. Glasgow Engineering donated $4000 to the project to bolster the limited funds of the Council. The water trough was installed on Sunday 12th October 2008 in its original location.

Many thanks to John Hutton, Managing Director of Glasgow Engineering, who kindly shared information and photographs of the structure. Detailed images of the restoration work can be viewed at https://www.pinterest.com/glasgowengineer/fabrication-shopheritage-conservation-work-water-t/

Glossary

  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • 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.
  • Stanchion, an upright bar or post providing support
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

 


Children’s Jubilee Fountain

Location: Launceston, Tasmania

Celebrations of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887 were celebrated throughout the Commonwealth.The Launceston Council created a Juvenile Festival Fund to provide commemorative medals to five or six thousand children who also received refreshments. A small balance remained in the Fund, and it was proposed by Alderman Sutton that the children should, through their own efforts, contribute to the erection of a public fountain at the entrance to the Launceston City Park.

Celebrations of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887 were celebrated throughout the Commonwealth. The Launceston Council created a Juvenile Festival Fund to provide commemorative medals to five or six thousand children who also received refreshments. A small balance remained in the Fund, and it was proposed by Mr. Alderman Sutton that the children should, through their own efforts, contribute to the erection of a public fountain at the entrance to the Launceston City Park.

An order was placed by Messrs. Hart and Son from the catalogue of Walter Macfarlane and Co., Glasgow. It arrived in Launceston towards the end of 1891. However, the amount required to reimburse the purchase price had not been achieved, and the fountain was put into storage until the debt was cleared.

This was accomplished in 1897 and coincided with Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. A procession marched from the Market Green to the City Park consisting of the Mayor, City Council, Parliamentary representatives, public bodies, societies, schools and citizens. The ceremony included a Royal salute which took place in Victoria Square. A commemorative oak was planted in City Park and children sang ‘God Save the Queen’ and ‘God bless the Prince of Wales’ prior to the Mayor turning on the water in the Children’s Jubilee Fountain. The fountain is located at Tamar Street, City Park, Launceston, Tasmania.

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 three tiered 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 offer shields for memorial: City crest , Crane with bulrushes, bust of Queen Victoria, and two dedication shields with the inscriptions: Presented to the city by the children of Launceston to commemorate the Queen’s Jubilee, 20th June, 1887, and, Erected on Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee 20th June 1897.

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 and the internal lunettes display lion mascarons. 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 bronze drinking cups suspended by chains.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Griffins are symbolic of guardians of priceless possessions; lions are symbolic of guardianship; cranes are recognized as a symbol of vigilance, and eagles represent immortality.

I would like to thank Pat Griffin for his assistance in photographing the fountain specifically for this blog. Full size images can be viewed at his Flickr Photostream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/96393872@N07/

Glossary

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