Tag Archives: Yorkshire

Castleford Diamond Jubilee Fountain

Location: Castleford, Yorkshire, England

Queen’s Park was created in 1897 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. The fountain was installed in 1898. The bandstand which was built in 1900 remains; however, vandalism precipitated the removal of the drinking fountain in the 1950s.

Drinking fountain number 8 from Walter Macfarlane & Co.’s catalogue was manufactured at the Saracen Foundry at Possilpark in Glasgow. The structure 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 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,’ or optional memorial shields. 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 font (design number 7) 5 foot 8 inches high. The terminal was a crane. The basin (2 feet 6 inches in diameter) 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 fountain was operated by pressing a button.

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

 


Billany Memorial Fountain

In 1839 Nieles Boynton Billany was indentured to a seven year term as a shipwright and carpenter with shipbuilder Thomas Humphrey. He became a freeman in 1847 giving him the right to vote and triggering a life in politics. After his death in 1896 a memorial fund was created with the intention of creating a memorial fountain. A dedication plaque on this lost fountain was inscribed: Erected in memory of / Neiles Boynton Billany 1826 – 1896 / Freeman of the city of Kingston upon Hull / and Tireless Worker against Injustice.

The drinking fountain was erected in 1897 at the entrance to West Park, Hull, Yorkshire, England, and two days later it was seriously damaged, and the drinking cup and chain were stolen. A reward was offered for the apprehension of the culprit.

The fountain was damaged during World War Two and after further damage by a reversing vehicle during a blackout, it was removed from the West Park.

The canopied drinking fountain was design number 4 from David King & Sons Limited who owned the Keppoch Ironworks in Possilpark, Glasgow, Scotland. It was seated on a two tiered square plinth. Four columns with moulded base and spiral fluted shafts supported a solid ribbed domed with fish scale design. Eight consoles of acanthus were located at the base of each scrolled rib. The highly decorated fret detail over each arch hosted a dove ornament. The finial was a tapered extension with two spheres.

Under the canopy stood the font, an octagonal base decorated with rosettes, and egg and dart frieze. The wide basin was supported by a spiral fluted pedestal decorated with alternate panels of rosettes. The tall finial contained a vase with a tapering shaft from which four ornamental scroll consoles supported drinking cups suspended by chains.

Glossary

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Console: a decorative bracket support element
  • Fret, running or repeated ornament
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests
  • Rosette, a round stylized flower design
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal