The canopied fountain that stands on Bardowie Street in Possilpark was manufactured by Walter MacFarlane & Co who owned the Saracen Foundry. Walter MacFarlane first established his ironwork foundry in the Gallowgate in 1850 and in 1872 he relocated his premises to the former Possil Estate, renaming it Possilpark to cater for his expanding business and to accommodate his vast workforce.
Walter MacFarlane’s nephew, also named Walter MacFarlane, became a partner and later took over the foundry in 1885 on the death of his uncle. In less than 20 years Possilpark had grown from a population of 10 in 1872 to a population of 10,000 in 1891 and MacFarlane became known as the Laird of Fossiltown. MacFarlane & Co went on to become the most successful manufacturer of ornamental ironwork in Scotland, selling their work not just within Britain but also exporting their goods worldwide.
Walter MacFarlane & Co was taken over by Allied Founders in 1965 and Saracen Foundry was demolished in 1967. For more information about Walter MacFarlane & Co visit http://www.glasgowsculpture.com/pg_biography.php?sub=macfarlane_w-co
The canopied fountain in Possilpark is one of the few remaining pieces by Walter MacFarlane & Co in the local area and it stands as a reminder of the huge Saracen Foundry which once created a thriving and prosperous Possilpark. The fountain was re-erected at Bardowie Street in 1987 and later restored in 2000 by Heritage Engineering.
A group of local young people examined the fountain, taking inspiration from the slogan that adorns the ironwork:
The group then created this flash mob performance for the National Theatre of Scotland’s Five Minute Theatre entitled Fountain of Youth.
We hope that both Walter MacFarlane senior and Walter MacFarlane junior would be pleased to see the people of Possilpark using their creativity to celebrate their canopied fountain!