Friday Fountain Challenge: November

My final November fountain is from Scotland, though it is fairly typical of anywhere in the British Isles – a memorial fountain.

The heart of the oldest part of Dunkeld is ‘The Cross’, where the High Street broadens out to flow either side of a central area that was once home to the Mercat (or market) Cross.


The Atholl Memorial fountain was erected on the site of the market cross. It was funded by public subscription and built in 1866 to the memory of George Augustus Frederick John 6th Duke of Atholl. The duke had introduced a piped water supply to Dunkeld prior to which all water had to be drawn from the Tay, which explains all the wynds leading to the river.

Water Wynd
Water Wynd


The fountain was designed by a Perth based architect C S Robertson with sculptures by John Rhind. Details in the carvings include birds and animals, gargoyles, family crests and masonic symbols – the 6th duke was Grand Master Mason of Scotland from 1843 until his death in 1864.


The result was highly decorative and also functional. The water that flows from the fountain in summer today is not drinkable, but when first built it could serve both passing humans and horses.

The ownership of the fountain was passed to the National Trust for Scotland in 1991 and restoration of the fountain including restoring the flow of water was carried out with donations from several organisations and people. The water is turned off in the winter to avoid freezing.

If you’d like to join in with the fountain challenge then please pop over to Polianthus for the rules

This month is the time to feature fountains from your own country. I’m sure she would love to see you.


25 Comments Add yours

  1. A very impressive fountain Jude – vey interested to read the history behind it and that it wasn’t just decorative back in the day. Dunkeld looks a very pretty spot – love the rows of pretty cottages 😃

  2. polianthus says:

    Very pretty, very decorative and the story is interesting too. Like this one better than little bo peep!
    Agree spade a spade is a good thing, but you still wouldn’t want to live on a street with the name “Gas Road” would you? The gas works are there, there is also a Slaughterhouse road (the slaugherhouse is there) it all makes a lot of sense….I grew up in Yorkshire, Jude, I love it up there, the landscapes are also stupendous, perhaps, there is a similarity of spirit between Yorkshire folk, pragmatic, sensible, used to harsh conditions and finding ingenious ways to make it through austere times and the Swiss – farmers, poor until about 100 years ago, eking out an existence from their plots of land – didn’t pay to be frivolous, ok back to work!

  3. Lucid Gypsy says:

    I bet you were really happy to discover that one!

    1. Heyjude says:

      You can hardly miss it Gilly, it dwarfs the cottages surrounding it!

  4. Anabel Marsh says:

    I really like Dunkeld. Great pictures of it.

    1. Heyjude says:

      It’s a sweet little town, in a beautiful spot.

  5. restlessjo says:

    Looks like a lovely place, Jude. Don’t think I’ve been but that fountain is quite reminiscent of one in Bellingham, Northumberland. Not such a pretty place though. Riverside walks? 🙂 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      Not that I could find, except by the cathedral and the Birnam wood walk. I do like a riverside walk though and I do have one heading your way in a couple of weeks time 🙂

      1. restlessjo says:

        What a gentlewoman you are! 🙂 I shall tarry.

  6. I know the word mercat from Catalan, so I was surprised to see that the Scots adopted the same form of the word.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Yes I thought that was rather interesting.

      1. Coincidences like that do happen. For example, the Catalan word for paper is paper (though it’s pronounced differently).

        1. Heyjude says:

          The Catalan language is interesting – merci for thank you for instance, though not pronounced with a French accent. I suppose being on the border there will be a lot of similarities with French. Paper is almost papier.

        2. Catalunya’s location between what is now Spain and France meant that the language developed with some similarities to the language of each neighbor (and more generally to other Romance languages). When I spent half the summer in Catalunya in 1985, I don’t remember hearing anything for ‘thank you’ other than gràcies, which shows an obvious kinship with Spanish. You’ve made me aware that mercè is also in use. I wonder whether your familiarity with the French counterpart might have led you to hear the word as merci.

        3. Heyjude says:

          Possibly, I never saw it written down only spoken and it sounds the same.

  7. Joanne Sisco says:

    With all the detail on this fountain, it is both imposing and impressive!

    I really like the first photo with the road behind it and the line of buildings. It gives a sense of walking onto this lovely street.

    1. Heyjude says:

      It is a pretty street, alongside the river and leading to the cathedral.

  8. nowathome says:

    So impressive! Wow!

  9. Tanja says:

    a nice fountain:)

  10. This is a very substantial, dependable looking fountain. : In the town near where my mum lives there is a similar, but smaller. style of fountain, in fact I think there’s a particular Scottish look to them.

    1. Heyjude says:

      A Scottish look or a Victorian look? Be interesting if you can get a photo of your fountain next time you are up there.

  11. Helen Bushe says:

    Next time I’m in my home country I’ll not by-pass Dunkeld.

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