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Drinking trough and conduit head

A Grade II Listed Building in Shaftesbury, Dorset

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Latitude: 51.01 / 51°0'35"N

Longitude: -2.2019 / 2°12'6"W

OS Eastings: 385931

OS Northings: 123417

OS Grid: ST859234

Mapcode National: GBR 1XH.N4J

Mapcode Global: FRA 668F.XPH

Entry Name: Drinking trough and conduit head

Listing Date: 9 March 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1441806

Location: Shaftesbury, North Dorset, Dorset, SP7

County: Dorset

District: North Dorset

Civil Parish: Shaftesbury

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Shaftesbury and Enmore Green St James

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

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Combined drinking trough and conduit head of 1844.


Combined drinking trough and conduit head of 1844.

MATERIALS: constructed of coursed and squared Greensand blocks and ashlar, and cast-iron fittings.

DESCRIPTION: the structure is positioned parallel to the road, orientated NW to SE, and has a dogleg plan. The right-hand section (NW) comprises a low masonry wall with stone capping, within which is a niche with chamfered jambs and a four-centred arched lintel that is inscribed ‘1844’. Within the niche is a cast-iron water spout in the form of a lion’s head, beneath which, and set into the niche, is a canted cast-iron trough with roll mouldings. Set back to the left (SE) is a further section of walling that is slightly higher than the former. It has a round-arched recess that contains a pipe; the spout is missing, and below this is a projecting funnel or brick or tile.


During the C19 special provision began to be made for drinking troughs for cattle, horses and dogs, and in 1844, a conduit head and drinking trough were erected on the Shaftesbury and New Road to Blandford Turnpike (now the B3081), at the junction of Shaftesbury Road and New Road. It is recorded (Grosvenor, see Sources) that it replaced a spring on the opposite side of the road that had previously provided water for the local population, and the water was conveyed by pipes under the road. The structure is depicted as ‘trough’ on the Ordnance Survey maps of 1887, 1901 and 1929, but is not marked on modern mapping.

Reasons for Listing

The drinking trough and conduit head at the junction of Shaftesbury Road and New Road in Shaftesbury, which was erected in 1844, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural interest: as a well-executed and substantially intact piece of Victorian street furniture that has distinctive design quality;
* Historic interest: it serves as a reminder of the now-vanished presence of animals in everyday life and is thus an evocative reminder of a lost way of life.

Selected Sources

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