THE WATSON FOUNTAIN.
How many times have you driven past this statue and wondered what it was? This statue is actually a fountain!
The statue is one of the last remaining emblems of wealth gifted to the town by one of the coal masters of Hamilton. Hamilton’s Coal masters during the 1800s were very rich and powerful people and one of the coal masters was Sir John Watson, Bart of Earnock.
In 1893, John Watson donated the fountain to the people of Hamilton. It was erected at the junction between Cadzow Street & Muir Street. In the centre of the fountain is a woman who represents & commemorates the finding and working of coal. In her right hand, she held a miners pick and in the other hand a miner’s wire gauge Davy safety lamp. The fountain was built at a cost of £10,000 (Over £600,000 in today’s money)
Today the fountain still stands, however, the miners pick and safety lamp are both missing and the water no longer runs through the fountain.
The house behind the fountain at Muir Street are no longer there, however, they have been replaced with new flats.
I would personally like to see the fountain switched back on again! When I was young in the 1980s I can recall the water running through it, there were 4 exit points for the water at waist height and i believe there were 4 at the bottom (possibly for animals)
So thank you to Sir John Watson for donating this marvellous gift and now an antique for us – the people of Hamilton!