Tag Archives: Scottish Borders

Caledonian Railway Drinking Fountain

Location: Peebles, Scottish Borders, Scotland

This ‘lost’ cast iron drinking fountain, design #16 (3 feet 3 inches high and 2 feet 7 inches wide), was a wall mounted casting in the form of a round arch trimmed with highly decorated fret detail and rope moulding. The recessed interior of the arch contained a shell lunette with a tap which poured water into a fluted demi-lune basin. The fountain was surmounted with a palmette finial and a ring from which a single drinking cup was suspended on a chain. It was located in the Caledonian Railway station on the north side of March Street in Peebles.


In 1948 the railway was nationalised as part of British Rail, and the Edinburgh to Peebles line permanently closed in February 1962. It was later demolished and is now a housing development named March Street Lane.


  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Fret, running or repeated ornament
  • Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
  • Palmette, a decorative motif resembling the fan shaped leaves of a palm tree

Southern Water Fountain

Location: Allanton, Scottish Borders, Scotland

The village of Allanton is a single street standing high above the confluence of the Whiteadder and Blackadder Waters, the site of two bridges. Allanton was part of the estate of Blackadder House.

There is little information available regarding the fountain located close to ground level and set into a wall of sandstone. It bears some resemblance to designs by the Coalbrookdale Company of Shropshire, England but the manufacturer cannot be confirmed.


The recessed arch containing the drinking well is flanked by foliate enrichment, two putti playing musical instruments and a central mascaron of Poseidon surrounded by reeds. Within the arch is the date 1815 and the letter B which may refer to the Blackadder Family/House/Estate; however, this is speculation. A metal key which hangs within the niche was likely inserted into a rod in the ground which turned on the water flow.


Status 2006. Used with permission, John, P. Bolton, Scottish Ironwork Foundation

The fountain was listed a category B historic building on 26 March 1997. The basin visible in photographs in 2006 is missing in images from March 2009. The remaining ironwork at the base of the structure is brittle and corroded.



Status 2006. Used with permission, John, P. Bolton, Scottish Ironwork Foundation



Status 2011



  • Foliate, decorated with leaves or leaf like motif
  • Mascaron, a decorative element in the form of a sculpted face or head of a human being or an animal
  • Putto (plural is Putti), a figure in a work of art depicted as a chubby male child, usually nude


Jubilee Fountain and Trough

Location: West Linton, Scottish Borders, Scotland

The horse trough and Jubilee lamp located at the area of Bogsbank Road and Station Road known as church corner was originally erected at Raemartin Square. West Linton considered to be the biggest market in Scotland probably had need of a drinking fountain for cattle and their drovers.

The horse trough was design #12 manufactured by Walter Macfarlane’s Saracen Foundry in Glasgow. The structure is 6 feet 4 inches tall and the cast iron basin is 5 feet in diameter. The fluted central pedestal originally offered two drinking cups suspended on chains from two consoles. The structure which is supported by four horse hooves is capped with an acorn finial. A shield on the pedestal is inscribed; Broomlee Band Of Mercy / Erected / In Commemoration Of / Queen Victoria’s / Diamond Jubilee / June 1897 / Be Merciful / After / Thy Power

The lamppost accompanying the trough is design #146, and although this example stands as a separate form it was often offered as the central pedestal within the trough.


  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Fluted, a long rounded groove
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue


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.

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