Crathes fountain springs back into life

The fountain has been restored in a project which started last summer
The fountain has been restored in a project which started last summer

A water feature first built in the late 19th century has been revived at Crathes Castle.

It follows a programme of conservation and repair work by the National Trust for Scotland (NTS).

Designed in the shape of a compass, the fountain and pond are a key feature in the property’s Fountain Gardens.

Originally installed in the 1880s, it is a stand-out example of the region’s first uses of concrete to create structures.

The lead putto statue on the fixture of a little boy holding a spouting fish was inspired by the work of Italian sculpture Palazzio Vecchio.

However, due to wear and tear over the past 100 years, the fountain fell into a state of disrepair and eventually stopped working.

The restoration work, which began last July, was led by Scottish engineer John Addison who redesigned the fountain in its entirety, using a more eco-friendly and longer lasting concrete substitute called limecrete.

Generous donations from the conservation charity’s Patron’s Club members meant the old water pump could also be replaced, allowing water to flow at the fountain once again.

Iain Hawkins, NTS general manager in the North East, said: “Protecting and conserving our heritage sites is a priority for the National Trust for Scotland regardless of how big or small the detail.

“Everything we do is for the love of Scotland, so we are extremely proud to see the fountain at Crathes working once again and looking as wonderful as it did 100 years ago.

“When we launched the project, the fountain was crumbling and eroded so by using new materials to recreate it, we found a modern fix for an old problem. The materials used mean that we can now ensure that the water feature remains a key part of Crathes’ beautiful gardens for future generations to enjoy.”

The fountain is fully operational for visitors to Crathes.