Monday, March 22, 2021

Edmondthorpe, Leicestershire


This blog is, of course, supposed to be an account of my encounters with buildings, but I’ll include something else occasionally if it seems to me buildings-related or has an architectural quality to it – gate piers, pillar boxes, milestones and the like have all featured here. Hence this village pump, which caught my eye for its obelisk-like form, its puzzling inscription, and its impressive dragon spout. The pump is made of iron – cast iron for the casing and spout, wrought for the handle, I believe.

Whose idea could it have been to erect such an eyecatcher for the village water supply? Presumably the bearer of the initials W.A.P. who, according to an online source, was William Ann Pochin (1844–1901), Lord of the Manor of Bourne Abbots, although he lived in Edmondthorpe Hall. He is said to have restored a number of houses in the village. The houses remain, although the hall burned down in 1943. As to the striking design of the spout, the Pochin coat of arms is the sign near the school just behind the pump, and I couldn’t see anything resembling a dragon in it. However, makers of pumps and those who channel natural springs do sometimes make spouts in the form of such beasts – I’ve seen dragon- or serpent-heads before with water rather than fire spurting out of them. The people of the village were no doubt pleased to have a reliable water supply. This passer-by was delighted to come across such a visual amenity.

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* This structure is a listed ‘building’ and the listing text confirms the material. Foolishly, I did’t strike it when I was there, to see what sound it made. It’s often worth tapping or hitting structures as the dull sound of wood is very different from the knock or ring of metal. Beware, though – if you hit too hard you can come off badly in the endeavour!

1 comment:

christine_a said...

A lovely little village criss-crossed by public footpaths - must look out for this next time we're there, very interesting.