The Colvin Fountain
Moffat, Scotland
Pictures and text for this page have been graciously provided by Sandy, dfsgal@aol.com, who lives in Dumfries, Scotland.  He also has a page that deals with the history and local architecture of Dumfries, which may be seen at http://members.aol.com/dfsgal/town.htm.

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  William Colvin of Craigielands, Beattock, Scotland, built a fountain in the middle of the town of Moffat (about 2 miles away) in 1875. The architect of the fountain is listed as Mr Brodie of Edinburgh.

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It isn't a fountain in the traditional sense with water spurting in the air.  Spring water flows (at least it did once upon a time) from pipes in the side of the hillside into polished granite half basins. The fountain probably had an iron cup on a chain at each basin to use as a  drinking vessel.

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A closeup of the "hillside" showing the dedication inscription. (next)

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I have seen similar arrangements for providing drinking fountains in public places in other towns around Scotland.  It often has something to do with the commemoration of the end of the cholera epidemics of the early and middle 19th century and the supply of fresh, clean drinking water.  Have yet to find out the particular significance of this monument. Most of them fell out of use and now exist only as monuments. Kircudbright, Creetown and Gatehouse of Fleet all had them.
    It's just as well they're now all dry because these well-intentioned Victorians used lead pipes without knowing they were exposing the population to new dangers by introducing them to another harmful product. [As Sandy says, "It's has always been safer drinking Scotch beer and or Scotch whisky." -Ed.]
    This scene from a postcard is obviously very early...

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The trees are long gone and the large house is now an hotel.

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Moffat was very busy with the start of the tourist season.  At first, I couldn't get a decent shot of the fountain because of a big camper (I think you call them trailer homes?), which was parked next to it. (next)

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The sculpture of the Blackfaced Ram (I think it is the Cheviot breed of sheep, but I could be wrong) stands on a simulated hill made from sandstone blocks (these were often painted in the past).

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