Basic Site Details

Name: Whyte-Melville Memorial Fountain
Town, district or village: St Andrews
City or county: Fife
Country: Scotland
Grid ref:
Notes: This memorial is erected in a central part of Market-street in St. Andrew's, where the thoroughfare is of unusual width. The stone used in the structure is principally Dumfries red sandstone, obtained from the well-known Corncockle quarries on the estate of Sir Alexander Jardine, Bart, Lockerbie, and while an agreeable warmth of colour is thus obtained, a telling effect of contrast is secured by the introduction of columns and copings of polished Dalbeattie granite. The lower basin of the fountain, which like the two higher, is of red sandstone, but has a granite coping and is approached by a step of the same material, measures 14 feet in diameter, and rises 3ft. 4inches above the ground. From the centre of this basin there rise a cluster of five granite columns, four of them, about 6 inches. in diameter, surround the fifth, which is, as it were, the bearing column, and it is 1 foot 6 inches in thickness. These shafts are surmounted by carved capitals of sandstone, which in turn support the second basin. On this basin, which is quatrefoil in plan, a great deal of work has been bestowed, the stone being elaborately carved in designs representing water-plants. The depth of water in lower basin is 1foot 9 inches to overflow. The water after passing through the pipes of the fountain, is conveyed to a flushing tank a few yards distant, and there used for flushing a section of the common sewers. On each face of the quatrefoil there is placed a medallion in white
marble, one showing a bust in bas relief of the late Major Whyte-Melville, by Mr. J. E. Boehm, ARA , the second and third bearing respectively the family arms, and the shield of the Coldstream Guards, in which the deceased was an officer, and the fourth being occupied with the following inscription, the lettering being of lead inlaid :

“This fountain is erected by many friends, rich and poor, to the beloved memory of George John Whyte Melville of Mount Melville, Bennochy and Strathkinness ; born 19th July, 1821; died 5 December 1879, from an accident in the hunting-field near Tetbury, Gloucestershire. His writings delighted; his conversation charmed and instructed; his life was an example to all who enjoyed his friendship, and who now mourn his untimely end."

The third stage of the fountain is a reproduction of the second on a smaller scale, the arrangement of a basin supported by granite columns being repeated, with the variation that the columns in this case are octagonal. Above this there rises a moulded finial of red sandstone, carrying the fountain to the height of about 14 feet from the ground. Water will be discharged from gargoyles, four of which are disposed round the second, and four round the third basin, as well as from five jets, four of which are on the second stage, while the fifth is concealed within the finial. The whole of the works have been executed by Mr. Thomas Earp, of Kennington, from the designs of Mr Robert W. Edis, FSA, architect, of 14, Fitzroy-square. The local tradesmen employed were Mr. Hart, plumber; Mr. Macintosh, builder; Mr. McPherson, plasterer ; all of whom deserve credit for the manner in which their share of the work has been executed. [Building News 24 June 1881 p740]

Cost: £800.

In addition, Edis designed and Earp executed Whyte-Melville's tombstone at Tetbury and a memorial in the Guards' Chapel, Wellington Barracks, London.

Building Type Classification

The building is classified under the following categories:
 ClassificationOriginal classification?Notes
Item 1 of 1Fountain  

Street Addresses

The following street addresses are associated with this building:
 AddressMain entrance?Notes
Item 1 of 1Market StreetYes 


The following date-based events are associated with this building:
 FromToEvent typeNotes
Item 1 of 11880 Build/constructionCompleted by October 1880


Design and Construction

The following individuals or organisations have carried out design/construction work. Where architects or practices worked together, matching letters appear beside their names in the Partnership Group column.
 NameRolePartnership GroupFromToNotes
Item 1 of 1(Sir) Robert William EdisArchitect 1880 Design (sculptural work executed by Earp)


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this building:
Item 1 of 1Gifford, John1988Fife (The Buildings of Scotland)  p393

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this building:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 4Builder1880XXXIX pp 485-6
Item 2 of 4Building News1880XXXIX pp 429-30 Including details of memorials at the Guards' Chapel, Wellington Barracks and Tetbury.
Item 3 of 4Building News24 June 1881  p740 and illustration
Item 4 of 4Illustrated London News18 December 1880   

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this building:
 SourceArchive nameSource catalogue no.Notes
Item 1 of 1Historic Environment ScotlandListed Buildings Register40724