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.


  • 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




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