The Blyth Fountain on Newport Braes was gifted to the village in 1882 by Mrs Blyth Martin. Mrs Blyth Martin lived at Blyth House, now 72 Tay Street, and she also gifted the Blyth Hall to the community in memory of her three brothers. The fountain is made of cast-iron and was produced by Walter MacFarlane and Co at the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow. It is fairly typical of fountains erected in the Victorian period, and closely resembles others still standing, some in far-flung corners of the world.
At the time of its production, there was a widespread movement to provide clean drinking water whenever and wherever possible. It was also hoped that such provision would encourage habits of temperance. It is ironic that today such an open fountain is considered a health and safety hazard and we are of course not now allowed to actually drink water from it! Since the fountain’s extensive refurbishment in 2013 it is now well worth a close inspection. It is decorated with herons and stags, and inscribed with the reminder to “Keep the pavement dry”. A further plaque states “The gift of Mrs Blyth Martin 1882”.
These two photographs show the fountain in poor condition in 1990 with the central fountain missing and in general need of TLC, and today after its restoration in 2013.
The fountain is so well known here in Newport that we chose it for our website logo!