Glasgow - City of Sculpture
By Gary Nisbet
Bailie James Martin Memorial Drinking Fountain
Details:

Manufacturer: Walter Macfarlane & Co (fl. 1850-1965)
Location: Glasgow Green, near the People's Palace, Glasgow
Date erected: 1893-4


Bailie James Martin Memorial Dinking Fountain, Glasgow Green Bailie James Martin Memorial Dinking Fountain, Glasgow Green Bailie James Martin Memorial Dinking Fountain, Glasgow Green Bailie James Martin Memorial Dinking Fountain, Glasgow Green Bailie James Martin Memorial Dinking Fountain, Glasgow Green

James Henderson Martin (1815-92) was the Town Councillor for the Whitevale Ward from 1883, the Town's Master of Works from 1886, a member of the Clyde Navigation Trust, a Justice of the Peace and a highly respected Police Judge.


Bailie James Martin Memorial Dinking Fountain, Glasgow Green Bailie James Martin Memorial Dinking Fountain, Glasgow Green Bailie James Martin Memorial Dinking Fountain, Glasgow Green Bailie James Martin Memorial Dinking Fountain, Glasgow Green

His monument, on the north east side of Glasgow Green (formerly adjacent to the People's Palace and Templeton's Carpet Factory), was erected by public subscription after his death. It was built in cast iron and ordered from the pattern books of Walter Macfarlane 's Saracen Foundry in 1893. It was inaugurated on 26 May 1894.


Bailie James Martin Memorial Dinking Fountain, Glasgow Green Bailie James Martin Memorial Dinking Fountain, Glasgow Green Bailie James Martin Memorial Dinking Fountain, Glasgow Green Bailie James Martin Memorial Dinking Fountain, Glasgow Green

The design is typical of many other commemorative fountains by Macfarlane's which can be found throughout Britain and the Commonwealth. Its design was registered in 1860, and was probably the work of architect James Boucher , who is known to have designed other patterns for Macfarlanes and incorporated their ironwork on his buildings. It was illustrated in the foundry's trade catalogues and designated the pattern number: 21,


Bailie James Martin Memorial Dinking Fountain, Glasgow Green Bailie James Martin Memorial Dinking Fountain, Glasgow Green Bailie James Martin Memorial Dinking Fountain, Glasgow Green Bailie James Martin Memorial Dinking Fountain, Glasgow Green

Moorish in character, with a filigree dome supported on eight slender columns and surmounted by an eagle finial, the spandrels of the arches between the columns feature shields bearing the dedicatory inscription, the Glasgow Arms, a swan and a stork. There are also dragons projecting from the base of the dome. The interior of the dome is decorated with lion masks on its sides and a blazing sun at its centre. Missing from the interior are four owls, which stood above the columns (a good example of a surviving owl is in the similar MacKenzie Fountain in Hawkhead Cemetery, Paisley).


Bailie James Martin Memorial Dinking Fountain, Glasgow Green Bailie James Martin Memorial Dinking Fountain, Glasgow Green Bailie James Martin Memorial Dinking Fountain, Glasgow Green

The central fountain, or well, has four brackets from which hung gun-metal cups on chains, and its body incorporates further reliefs of a swan and stork. This is above a circular basin which caught the water from four self-closing taps and is supported on lion-headed, cabriole legs.


Bailie James Martin Memorial Dinking Fountain, Glasgow Green Bailie James Martin Memorial Dinking Fountain, Glasgow Green Bailie James Martin Memorial Dinking Fountain, Glasgow Green Bailie James Martin Memorial Dinking Fountain, Glasgow Green

The fountain was switched off in the 1960s, together with the city's other drinking fountains, due to hygiene fears and high maintenance costs. Until 1974, the pedestal was surmounted by a portrait bust of Martin by James Alexander Ewing , which was removed by the City Council for safekeeping, but leaving its socle behind. The bust now appears to be definitely lost, or at least mislaid.


Bailie James Martin Memorial Dinking Fountain, Glasgow Green

After suffering from the effects of years of neglect, the fountain was restored by Heritage Engineering as part of a multi-million pound upgrading of Glasgow Green and its fountains and monuments.

 

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