Historic Fountain of 1891 Restored and Returned to Rondebosch Community

The historic cast iron fountain which was handed over to the community of Rondebosch in Cape Town on September 25, 1891, has been restored and unveiled on Thursday, as South Africa celebrates Heritage Day.

In a statement released on Thursday, Mayco member for Community Services and Health, Zahid Badroodien said the fountain – a horse and dog watering trough with a lamp post – was donated by surveyor and railway pioneer George Pigot-Moodie to the community.

He said Pigot-Moodie sat on the Cape Legislature from 1889 to 1890 and was a resident at Wesbrooke, now known as Genandendal (which is also an official residence of the country’s president) until his passing in 1891, the same year he donated the foundation.

Badroodien said the original fountain is a provincial heritage site in terms of the National Heritage Resources Act (Act25 of 1999) and the fountain was badly damaged during a bad motor vehicle accident in 2015.

“The City of Cape Town recovered the remnants and held it in safe keeping. It was the City’s intention to repair and to restore the fountain to its former glory” Badroodien said.

“However, the fountain was so badly damaged, that it could not be repaired. It had previously been repaired and cobbled together over the many years that it stood in the heart of Rondebosch. As a result, the fountain which was destroyed, was not identical to the fountain which was unveiled 127 years ago.”

He said the new fountain was donated by the Simon van der Stel Foundation and Heritage Castings to the City and is as close to the specifications of the original fountain with minor details which differ.

The fountain is in its original colours and details are exact as when it reached the Cape from Scotland.

“I am so excited to see this iconic landmark back to its former state. The fountain has great historical value and was cherished by the Rondebosch residents. The replication and accession process took longer than we would have hoped as there were legal requirements that the City had to adhere to,” Badroodien said at the unveiling.

He said the City was indebted to the donors and an electricity connection will be done at a later stage so the fountain lights can be switched on.


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Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].