Smollett Fountain

An ornate fountain on Main Street in Alexandria (West Dunbartonshire), the Smollett Fountain was erected in 1870 in appreciation of Alexander Smollett MP (1801-81), a much-admired landowner and nephew of Lt-Col Alexander Smollett (d.1799), who gave his name to the town. The younger Smollett had done much to improve living conditions in the Vale of Leven, including bringing clean drinking water to Alexandria.

The High Gothic fountain looks like a series of pulpits rising above a Mercat Cross. Its highly-decorated basins are supported on columns rising from a massive base, and the structure is surmounted by a cast-iron heron, which gazes skywards. The base is surrounded by black railings and lamp-standards. The design was selected through a competition, won by Glasgow-based architects Adamson & McLeod. It was constructed using sandstone from Bannockburn together with grey and pink granite from Aberdeen by the local builder William Barclas at a cost of around £500. A glass time capsule was buried below the fountain, containing coins and newspapers. The fountain was restored in 1995 and the lighting improved in 2004, when an interpretation board was provided.

This had been the site of The Old Oak Tree until 1865, which was the traditional place where speeches would be made.

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