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Doulton Fountain

Doulton Fountain, Glasgow Green
©2016 Gazetteer for Scotland

Doulton Fountain, Glasgow Green

Attaining a height of 14m (46 feet) and with a 21.3-m (70-foot) basin, the Doulton Fountain is the largest terracotta fountain in the world. Located on Glasgow Green, immediately to the north of the People's Palace and described as a 'sculptural extravaganza', this remarkable hand-made structure was gifted to the city by English ceramic manufacturer Sir Henry Doulton (1820-97). Intended to commemorate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee of 1887 and celebrate Britain's Imperial achievements, it was designed by Arthur E. Pearce of Doulton & Co. and constructed by students from Lambeth School of Art for the 1888 International Exhibition in Kelvingrove Park and moved to Glasgow Green in 1890.

The fountain comprises five tiers which rise above the lower basin. A lower group of figures represent the diversity of the Empire by illustrating the people of Australia, Canada, India and South Africa. Water spouts descend from lion-masks around the upper basin, while above this soldiers from Scotland, England and Wales, together with a sailor, represent the armed forces. Further spouts descends from the urns of water-carrying female figures on the next tier, while a slightly larger than life-size Queen Victoria presides at the apex of the monument. The statue of Victoria was struck by lightning in 1891 and, rather than let the city fathers replace it with something inferior, Doulton paid for a replacement.

By the 1970s the fountain had fallen into disrepair and the water no longer flowed. A £4-million refurbishment and relocation programme began in 2002 and the fountain was moved to its present location in 2004.

On 9th May 2005, Lord Provost Liz Cameron switched on the water of the fully-restored fountain. She unveiled a plaque to celebrate the successful project and described the fountain as "an enduring symbol of Glasgow, Glasgow Green and the redevelopment of the East End".

This valuable and important fountain is now protected multiple CCTV cameras.


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