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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



Sheriff Vary Campbell Memorial Fountain

Location: Stow, Scottish Borders, Scotland

A drinking fountain which once stood at the crossroads (Station Road and Galashiels Road) was donated by Mrs. Campbell of Pirn House in memory of her husband, Sheriff Vary Campbell. It was erected to coincide with the Coronation of King Edward VII on 9th August 1902.

Mrs. Campbell was presented with a leather case containing a finely engraved ceremonial key to turn on the fountain. A silver plaque on the lid was engraved with the legend: Presented To / Mrs Vary Campbell / On The Occasion Of Turning On The Water At Stow Public Fountain / Erected By The Said Mrs Vary Campbell / In Honour Of The Coronation Of The King And In Memory Of Her Husband / Richard Vary Campbell L.L.B. / Sheriff Of Roxburgh, Berwick & Selkirk / Stow 9th August 1902.

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This key was likely inserted into a rod in the ground to turn on the water flow.  See photo below, the rod is in the foreground.

Used with permission, Stow Parish Archive

Used with permission, Stow Parish Archive

The fountain was purchased from Walter Macfarlane’s catalogue and manufactured at the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow. Seated on a square plinth, drinking fountain number 7 was a single pedestal basin with four decorative columns rising from an octagonal base. Four salamanders descended the fountain pedestal as a symbol of courage and bravery. The basin had a scalloped edge and decorative relief. Water was released from a central urn by pushing a pressure knob. Four consoles offered drinking cups suspended by chains. The terminal was a crane, recognized as a symbol of vigilance.

This is what the fountain looked like. Saracen Foundry Casting 7

This is what the fountain looked like. Saracen Foundry Casting 7

The only photo I could find. Used with permission, Stow Parish Archive.

Used with permission, Stow Parish Archive.

In 1917 a roadside buffet was set up at the fountain. Tea and biscuits were offered to tourists who took advantage of the bus tours that travelled from Edinburgh to the Border Abbeys. The minimal charge was a local contribution to the war effort.

During the Second World War it was common for metalwork to be recycled for armaments, and it is likely that this is the reason that the cast iron fountain and a plaque memorializing Sheriff Campbell was removed.


  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

Fountains, Distant Twins & Cousins