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"The Fountain"


The Fountain,
Co. Tipperary,

In 1876, Lady Margaret Butler-Charteris, eldest daughter and heir of Richard, 2nd and last Earl of Glengall, erected the fountain. It consists of a heavy shaft, with a ring around it half way up. The ring has four Lions heads on it, and on top of the shaft is a Venetian-gothic "tabernacle", with four square-plan piers, each with a Lions head on the outer corner. The limestone shaft is set in a small basin.

The purpose of the fountain was to radically improve the supply of water to the town centre. It supplied a high pressure water supply for Cahir, piped several miles at enormous cost from the Galtee Mountains. The mains pipe approached town on the Mitchelstown road at 6 inched in diameter. This was gradually decreased en-route to 4 inches; then 2; then 1; and finally 0.5 inches to create gravity feed. The fountain serves as a memorial to her husband, Lt, Col. Hon. Richard Charteris, 2nd son of the 9th Earl of Wemyss & March. As a result of this gesture, Cahir had a fresh water supply, while many towns of far larger size were still using river water.

The Estate was responsible for the building of the town reservoir and mains pipe. In 1926 - 28, the Estate had the water supply extended to those houses in Cahir wishing to have a supply on tap. The water rate for a toilet and house tap was 3 pounds 12s per annum, while a single yard tap cost 18s. per annum.

From the year 1898, when Tipperary (South Riding) County Council took over the administration of the town, they had to pay the Cahir Estate Company for the town's water supply, as it remained privately owned up to the sale of the Estate in March 1962.

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