Dollar Park Fountain

Illus: The Fountain with Eagle looking east
– and with the Child on Seahorse looking north.

The lily pond and jet d’eau were already in the grounds of Arnotdale House when it was bought in 1923 by Robert Dollar for use as a

public park.  The circular pool or bowl is 6.6m in diameter and has stone kerbing (patched with cement), with a round moulded lip, and a concrete base.  Soon after the opening of the park the cast iron finial from the demolished Gentleman Fountain, which had been kept in storage at the old tannery buildings, was used as a centrepiece and a pipe extended up its back.  The finial took the form of a bird with head raised aloft and wings outstretched, perched on a nest.  Benches placed around this on a perimeter path were very popular, as was the introduction of fish.  Children in particular were attracted to the water.

On the death of Mary GW Wilson, Falkirk Council accepted her bequest of the Hardiman Fountain in January 1940.   This was a fine bronze fountainhead executed by the famous English sculptor, Alfred Hardiman RA (1891-1949), to commemorate the peace of 1918.  It was transferred to Dollar Park to replace the bird there.  It featured a young boy with his arms raised sittng on a seahorse.  This topped a slender tapering pedestal carrying art deco patterns, vertical lines interspersed with salamanders and tendrils.  Around its base were two rows of upstanding acanthus leaves, and one row of conventional leaves.  These all sat in a large copper alloy basin, 1.2m in diameter, whose upturned edges were also formed of acanthus leaves.  The basin was raised a few feet off the ground by a tapering pedestal.  The whereabouts of the crowning statue are no longer known, but the base remains, now filled with soil and planted with annuals – a sad reminder of the health problems associated with water in parks.

(NS 8896 8022)

G.B. Bailey 2022