Watering Holes (1)

These two items, at the top of Conduit Vale, have always intrigued me – one of the many cattle troughs provided in the 1870s by The Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough Association for the cows and horses, and a fountain for their drivers.
It seems fairly obvious that they would have been built at the same time, but one of them has weathered a lot better than the other, giving the impression at least that the drinking fountain (which no longer has any taps or plumbing on view) is much older. The funny little iron cross thing (did it hold a lamp, perhaps?) on top has also lost anything that would make it look like it used to be useful.
I’m sure the two are from the same time and that the stones have weathered at different rates, and Neil Rhind in The Heath, implies that they were both erected in 1871. But I can find nothing more about what it would have looked like when it was in use. There are several drinking fountains on the heath, and this one’s not nearly as well-preserved as, say, the one at the top of Tranquil Vale.
A few metres away to the east, lies another of those funny

boundary stones which, apparently Neil Rhind discusses in his revised 2002 version of the Heath. Sadly I only have a 1987 copy. I guess I need to get the new one…


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