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Memorial Drinking Fountain
Dordrecht, Eastern Cape

Date:1902
Type:Memorial
Style:Victorian
Status:Extant

 


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Coordinates:
31°22'27.49" S 27°02'53.65" E Alt: 1620m

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A fine example of late Victorian cast iron civic furniture is preserved in the grounds of the Anderson Museum in Dordrecht. A memorial drinking fountain, it combines a horse drinking trough with a drinking fountain and a light post and was selected by the citizens of Dordrecht from Walter Macfarlane & Co's catalogue of items manufactured by their Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, Scotland.

The memorial drinking fountain consists of a circular cast iron horse drinking trough with broad rounded perimeter rim. The manufacturer's name is recorded in raised letters on the upper face of the rim. The trough stands on four heavy supports, each cast in the shape of a horse’s back leg, complete with massive hoof. Each leg transforms into a decorative classical motif at the interface with the trough.

The drinking trough supports a substantial decorative cast iron light pole. The pole stands centrally within the trough and is notable for some fine detailed classical mouldings, flutings and applied decorative beads. An upper tapered column is surmounted by a decorative capital and by two short cantilevered arms. The column capital is in turn surmounted by a light fitting with circular domed sheet metal cap supported on four curved round bar supports. The light fitting was kept separately within the museum and the glass lamp shade appears not to have survived. The light fitting has since been reinstated.

A dedication is recorded in raised letters on a small curved rectangular cast metal plaque mounted on the bottom section of the tapered column of the cast iron light pole. The dedication is transcribed below:

THIS FOUNTAIN WAS ERECTED
BY THE INHABITANTS
OF DORDRECHT,
TO COMMEMORATE THE
CORONATION OF HIS
MOST GRACIOUS MAJESTY,
KING EDWARD THE SEVENTH
1902.

The memorial drinking fountain originally used to stand in Hofmeyr Square where it was presumably supplied with water from the Hogsett Reservoir. At some stage the fountain was moved to the site of the Great War Memorial, in the gardens of the Dordrecht Municipal Offices were it was not looked after. More recently it was relocated into the care of the Anderson Museum and is currently (July 2019) in the process of being restored and painted.

See similar Memorial Drinking Fountain in Cradock:

A catalogue page from Walter Macfarlane's catalogue of a similar water trough (See illustration right)

Extract from catalogue page:

‘This design, is well suited for Street Crossings, Squares, Market Places, Horse Bazaars, &c., as it affords drinking accommodation for a large number of horses and drivers, and effectively lights a wide space, with the least possible obstruction to the other traffic.’

(William MARTINSON, September 2019)