Tag Archives: Tranmere Abattoir

Laird Fountain

The Tranmere Abbatoir in Birkenhead was opened by Mayor William Laird Esq. in 1886. To commemorate the opening of the abbatoir, a fountain was mounted into the wall at the corner of New Chester Road and the entrance to Cammell Laird Shipyard.

The fountain is cast iron coated with copper which has weathered to create a blue/green patina. It is surmounted by a terracotta canopy with attic base and fluted conical acroteria.

The cast iron backplate is in the form of a stylized shield with decorative relief. The scalloped base (originally a trough for dogs) is flanked by two lion masks which delivered water to the trough. A single pedestal supports a protruding basin above which is a panel containing a large lion mask from which water spouted. A wreath and the date 7th March is displayed above the mask.

The top third of the fountain contains a ribbon scroll displayed across the width of the backplate with a dedication; These Abattoirs Were Opened By Wm Laird Esq J.P. Mayor Of Birkenhead.

Four rosettes which flank the backplate were possibly used to conceal bolts that anchor the plate to the bricks. On the wall to the right of the basin there is a circular plate with a button and the inscription; T. Kennedy Patented Kilmarnock. Thomas Kennedy was a partner in the firm Glenfield Co. Ltd. of Kilmarnock, manufacturers of castings and general foundry work.

The fountain was listed a Grade II historic building in 2011.


  • Acroteria, an ornament placed on a flat base and mounted at the apex of the pediment
  • Attic base, a column base with two rings


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