This page attempts to explain the significance and meaning behind the Fountain Inn Sign. Research is augmented with photographs of pub signs.


Inn Signs
Inn Signs

Background Information
The sign of The Fountain is generally found when a water source is located near to a pub. At the top left of the gallery above is an enchanting sign of the Fountain Inn at Clent. It has something of a Roman look about it. Well, the building in the background certainly has the look of a Roman Villa - the fountain was of important cultural significance to their way of life. Certainly, the Clent Hills has no shortage of water.

Referring to the crest of the Plumber's Company and also the badge of the Master Mariners, the sign of The Fountain can also be heraldic.

The second and third signs in the gallery are on the same board at Lower Gornal. When commissioning a sign for their pub, the licensees thought they would like something a little bit special. So, rather than just having a painting of any old fountain, they have adopted two of the famous fountains in nearby Dudley.

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The signboard was painted by a local resident of Gornal, Gary Tilyard, who did a splendid job of illustrating both the Archer's Fountain in the gardens by the Town Hall and the Fountain in the High Street which was built on the site of the original Town Hall. This building was demolished in 1860 when it was decided that 'nocturnal activities' beneath the hall's open arches had become 'an affront to public morals.' It was replaced by the fountain in 1867.

The fountain was designed by James Forsyth, who also sculpted the Perseus Fountain at Witley Court in Worcestershire. The high Drinking Fountain is in a flamboyant Italian Renaissance style and features two busts of horses on two prow-like corbels and a figural finial. It was first exhibited at the Paris Exhibition of 1867 before its installation in the road formerly known as middle row.
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Inn Sign
Inn sign of The Fountain at Clent [2001]

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Inn Sign Society

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Featured Inn Signs
Click here for a list of inn signs featured on the website, along with an overview of British pub signs.

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"From the very fountain of enchantment there arises a taste of bitterness to spread anguish amongst the flowers.


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