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Horse Troughs

  Horse Trough, South Godstone
  Horse troughs were once a common feature of our towns and villages. During the Nineteenth Century the importance of clean drinking water was appreciated and wells, pumps and fountains were created for people to collect fresh clean water for their homes. As more people moved into towns animals needed to be moved around to provide fresh meat and milk for the townsfolk and these animals required water as well as food en route. Troughs were provided in most communities, often combining drinking fountains for human use and low level troughs for use by dogs.

  By the mid Twentieth Century troughs were a common feature, but, being generally constructed of stone and of necessity located at the edges of roads, they became a hazard to the increasing amount of motorised traffic. As the use of horses as draught animals declined the troughs were gradually removed and many were destroyed.

  In recent years those that survived have found a new lease of life as large planters for floral displays. A number of them retain inscriptions relating to their original use and often have details of the benefactors who provided them including the RSPCA.

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