Coronation Fountain

Location: Cradock, Eastern Cape, South Africa

In the early 20th century Cradock was a market town frequently visited by farmers and their horses. To serve these visitors and quench their thirst a fountain was commissioned by the Cradock Town Council. It was erected at the intersection of Durban and Frere Streets to celebrate the coronation of King Edward VII in 1902. It is seated on an octagonal plinth bound by slim metal poles with connecting chains.

The 12 ft 6 high drinking fountain is design #27 manufactured by Walter Macfarlane & Co. in the Saracen Foundry, Glasgow. The design was advertised as well suited for Street Crossings, Squares, Market Places, etc., as it afforded drinking accommodation for a large number of horses and drivers, and effectively lit a wide space, with the least possible obstruction to other traffic.

It provided a drinking trough for horses with small basins for dogs at ground level. The trough is a 6’6” diameter circular cast iron basin supported on legs in the form of horses’ hooves. The central stanchion supports a column with flared bases and pilasters. Four projecting consoles originally suspended cups on chains to allow humans to drink from spouting water whilst horses drank from the large basin. A dedication shield located directly above the consoles is adhered to the fluted shaft; Erected / By The / Cradock Town Council / In Commemoration / Of The Coronation Of / H. M. King Edward Vii / 26th June 1902

The decorative capital, enriched with acanthus and rosette with a dog tooth frieze, supports a central lamp with mesh cage. The original lamp was roofed in with scales of opal glass which allowed the lantern to cast the light downward. The terminal was a crown.

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  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Dog tooth, pyramid shaped carving
  • Fluted Shaft, a long rounded groove decorating the shaft of a column
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Pilaster, a column form that is only ornamental and not supporting a structure
  • Plinth, Flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.
  • Rosette, a round stylized flower design
  • Stanchion, an upright bar or post providing support
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal



Sidney Column

Location: Southampton, Hampshire, England

A cast-iron drinking fountain with gas lamp erected at the junction of Six Dials in St Mary’s district was presented in 1882 by Councillor  Jonas Nichols to the Borough of Southampton. Nichols, a builder and railway contractor, commissioned the fountain to commemorate his son, Sidney, attaining the age of majority which at that time was 21 years. Nichols drank the first cup of water after it was unveiled.

It was relocated opposite the Kingsland Market in 1904 and remained at this location until 1954 when it was returned to Bevois Street sporting an electric lamp. Recorded as a Grade II listed building in 1981, it currently resides at the west end of Bevois Street in Jonas Nichol’s Square off St Mary’s Street.

In 2012 the City of Southampton Society donated approximately £5000 towards the refurbishment of the fountain as the structure had badly deteriorated.

The design was manufactured by Messrs. Steven Bros. & Co. of the Milton Ironworks, Glasgow and London (later to be known as McDowall, Steven & Co.’s Milton Works). The structure was originally seated on an ornamental plinth approximately 3 feet square standing upon a Portland stone base surrounded with granite stone kerbing. Between the kerbing and the base, bricks formed a radiating pattern 12 feet in diameter.

The drinking fountain supplied fresh water to animals and humans. Lion mascarons, a symbol of guardianship, spouted water that humans drank using metal cups suspended on consoles. On four sides a large quatrefoil basin for horses was fed with overflow water. A square base housed small demi-lune basins at ground level for dogs.

The highly decorated stanchion and central column were decorated with scrollwork, octupuses, starfish, and poppies. A dolphin, symbolizing guardians of water, flanked each side of the stanchion. The capital was inscribed with the legend, Presented To The Town / Of Southampton By / J. Nichols, Esq. / In Commemoration / Of His Son Attaining / His Majority / 28th June 1882.

The bulbous base of the 22 feet high lamp column contained four mascarons alternated with acanthus rising to a fluted Corinthian column enriched with leaves and fruit. The terminal was a gas lamp with Sugg’s patent three flame burners.

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  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Column Corinthian, a fluted shaft with flowers and leaves at the capital.
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.
  • Quatrefoil, a type of decorative framework consisting of a symmetrical shape which forms the overall outline of four partially-overlapping circles of the same diameter
  • Stanchion, upright bar or post providing support
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

Snider Fountain

Location: Kilbourn, Wisconsin, USA

A drinking fountain was donated by Charles W. Snider to Kilbourn City (now Wisconsin Dells) in 1898, as a memorial to his wife and his brother. Originally erected at the intersection of Broadway and Superior streets, it was later installed in front of the old Kilbourn library in Broadway. In 1996 it was relocated once more to the east entrance of the present library at Elm Street.

The topic of the fountain was raised in 2005 at a Dells Country Historical Society meeting. After more than a century of deterioration, missing pieces, and cumulative layers of paint (brown & white and green & white) the structure was in need of restoration. The project was accomplished by the Robinson Iron Co. in Alexander City, Alabama. A replica of the original brass statue (now installed at the Dells Country Historical Society’s Bowman House) was cast in aluminium.

Funding for the project was achieved with an art auction and personal donations from near and far, all managed by the Save Our Fountain Committee. Mayor Craig Casey officiated at the re-dedication in 2006.

The fountain was manufactured by J. L. Mott Iron Works of New York. It consists of a single pedestal with attic base and canted corners surmounted by a bronze statue of Hebe, the water carrier sculpted by Bertel Thorvaldsen.

Eight arched cornices contain dolphin masks which are symbolic of guardians of water. Two of the mascarons spouted water into demi-lune fluted basins for human consumption. Drinking cups were suspended by chains.

Horses drank from two large demi-lune fluted troughs from which overflow water fed four smaller basins originally located on each corner for the refreshment of smaller animals. A plaque between the dog troughs was inscribed with the maker’s name, The J.L. Mott/Iron Wks. N.Y.

An attic base supported a short column containing 4 inset panels bounded by pilasters. Within the panels, 3 cartouches contained bas-relief and a fourth cartouche offered an engraved plaque. Dedicated To / Minnie Drinker Snider / And / Fred B. Snider / Like A Cup Of Cold Water To Fevered Lips Is / A Cheerful Unselfish Life In This Busy World / To Two Such Lives Which Found Happiness / In Kindness To Every Living Creature, This / Memorial Is A Tribute / Erected June 1898

The capital supports a statue of Hebe, the Greek goddess of youth, dressed in flowing robes. Standing contrapposto she holds a pitcher in her right hand and a cup in her left hand.

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  • Attic base, a column base with two rings
  • Bas-relief, sculpted material that has been raised from the background to create a slight projection from the surface
  • Canted corner, an angled surface which cuts of a corner
  • Cartouche, a structure or figure, often in the shape of an oval shield or oblong scroll, used as an architectural or graphic ornament or to bear a design or inscription.
  • ontrapposto, stance where one leg bears the weight and the other leg is relaxed
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Fluted, a long rounded groove
  • Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Pilaster, a column form that is only ornamental and not supporting a structure

Beaumaris Castle Drinking Fountain

Location: Beamaris, Isle of Anglesey, Wales

The drinking fountain is located between Beaumaris Castle and the Happy Valley Pavilion. It was erected on 23rd June 1893 in the public pleasure grounds adjoining Beaumaris Castle by Alderman Thomas Hughes who later became Mayor.

This octagonal shaped drinking fountain seated on an octagonal plinth is design #14 manufactured by George Smith & Co., Sun Foundry, Glasgow. The ogee shaped base and acroter support a single pillar with attic base and inset arched panels. Entablature with bolt consoles sit beneath an ogee cupola with alternate panels of fleur de lys motif. The structure is surmounted with an acorn shaped finial.

Originally, two demilune basins with a chain for a suspended cup offered water to humans, and at ground level was a basin for dogs.


Creative Commons License. Source:

A plaque is inscribed with the legend; Presented / To The / Corporation / Of / Beaumaris / By Alderman / Thos. Hughes / 1893


Used with permission, Wendy Harris. Source:


  • Acroter, flat base
  • Attic base, a column base with two rings
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Cupola, a small, domed structure on top of a roof.
  • Demilune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Entablature, moldings and bands which lie horizontally above columns
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Ogee, curve with a concave