Historic Greenock fountain removed for restoration

AN historic fountain in the heart of Greenock town centre is being removed for restoration works.

Contractors have started dismantling the famous Lyle Fountain in Cathcart Square, which was gifted to the town in 1880.

The delicate process began earlier today, Monday 12 April, and is expected to take several days.

There may be some disruption for drivers and pedestrians during this time. 

Lyle Fountain in Cathcart Square, Greenock.
Lyle Fountain in Cathcart Square, Greenock.

Once the removal is complete, the fountain will be taken to Wigan to be returned to its former glory by a specialist restoration company.

Work is due to take around four months but that may vary depending on the condition of the ironwork once it has been descaled and stripped of paint.  

The restoration of the fountain is expected to cost just over £56,000.

An Inverclyde Council spokesperson said: “The Lyle Fountain is an iconic feature of Greenock town centre enjoyed by many a resident and visitor over the last 141 years.

“It’s also a link to the heritage of Greenock and Inverclyde as a whole.

“That’s why it’s important that we restore this piece of history for future generations to admire.”

The 141-year-old fountain was gifted to Greenock by Abram Lyle, the founder of the Lyle sugar refinery which would later merge with Henry Tate’s refinery to form Tate & Lyle, which is a brand known around the world to this day.

He served as provost from 1876 to 1879 before moving to London to set up a refinery producing golden syrup.

The circular fountain is capped with an ornamental dome featuring the crests of 18 prominent families of Greenock including Ardgowan, Watt and Morton.

The contractor appointed to carry out the restoration previously renovated the Grand Fountain in Fountain Gardens, Paisley.