The fountain was, in reality, only an ornamental trough used for the watering of horses, and consists of a round cast-iron drinking bowl supported on legs in the form of horses' hooves. A post topped by a lantern rises from the centre of the trough. It is a typical piece of Victorian ironmongery of its time, and was cast by Walter McFarlane & Co, of the Saracen Foundry, in Glasgow. It was presented to the community of Rondebosch in 1791 by George Moodie, one of its most colourful and probably wealthiest residents. It was declared a National Monument under old NMC legislation on 10 April 1964.
Rondebosch Fountain, which is of great Historical value, before a speeding motorist drove into it. The Iconic Fountain which has been at the intersection of Belmont and Main roads in Rondebosch for over a Century was destroyed after a speeding car drove into it during the early hours of the morning last week.
This Monument which is so dear to the Residents of Rondebosch was obliterated and pieces of it were scattered about. It is alleged that at around 03:30 the driver of a golf was speeding and smashed into the fountain, damaging it badly.
The fountain, which was Manufactured in England, was also the First Electric Lamp Post in South Africa and has great Historical value to the people of that area and those that frequented the road. Before automobiles took over, the fountain was used for watering draught horses.
Anthony Davies, CEO of Groote Schuur Community Improvement District, says the fountain has great sentimental value for residents. “The Historical Value of the Fountain is estimable. It saddens us that a driver travelling at great speed crashed in to the monument, seriously damaging it. It’s so dear to a lot of people,” says Davies.
In 2011 the GRCID together with other stake holders spent about R400 000 in renovating the fountain which had begun to deteriorate and rust. Stephen Le Grange, who frequents that road, says seeing the fountain smashed was very sad. “The Fountain is a lovely part of our History. It has so much Historical value and a beautiful Street Furniture Piece. It has survived for so many years on that spot and for it to be destroyed by a reckless driver is very sad. We are very lucky to have that Historical Architecture in that area. It makes a City interesting above all it keeps us humble because when we look at it we see how far we have come from. Everybody liked it. Horses used to drink there before the cars came, so it’s so special. Let’s hope it can be fixed because all the pieces were collected,” he says. Following the accident, GRCID had to pick up all the pieces and keep them safe.
“We managed to save the remnants from the accident and every effort will be made to have it repaired to its former glory. Since the piece was made out of the country we really hope it can be repaired locally,” says Davies. Davies said after it is repaired it should be placed somewhere safer. He said this would be arranged with the City of Cape Town.