Timberscombe Drinking Trough

Drinking Trough at NGR SS 9957 4209

Drinking Trough in the centre of the village.
Drinking Trough in the centre of the village.

This late 19th Century rectangular trough was originally erected for Alexander and Mary Wynch (nee Hole). It is inscribed to the memory of Mary’s parents, James Hole, who died in 1876 and his wife Mary who died in 1855. The trough was supplied by water pipes coming from Croydon Hill and old maps show that it was originally sited near the middle of the roadway.

Despite the stipulation that the water supply must not be disturbed, the trough was moved at some time, presumably when cars were introduced and it is no longer connected to a water supply. It is missing the drinking cups and outlet. It probably had chained cups, set in niches, with separate water supply so that both animals and humans could benefit from Mr.  Hole’s generosity.

The trough is made of Portland stone, is set on 4 stone blocks (which may have been added when the trough was re-sited) and has a plinth. It has a gabled top with a pair of trefoil headed niches, masked above and inscribed on the reverse in Gothic style “… in Memory of James Hole… 1876 of Old Knowle, Lord of the Manor and Mary his wife died 1855………”. It is now a listed monument.

The Engraved Section
The Engraved Section

Properties in Timberscombe which were owned by Knowle Manor prior to 1916 include the following paragraph in their modern-day deeds:

“………… unto Joseph Ruscombe Poole in fee simple in trust for Mary Wynch in fee simple (contained or referred to in the Conveyances of the said property to the Vendor) of the right of burial in the family vault in the Chancel of the Parish Church of Timberscombe heretofore used for the interment of the ancestors of the said Mary Wynch and also the right to erect a public fountain at some convenient spot in the public street opposite the new churchyard wall of the said Parish Church and to lay down pipes and take and divert from the spring on Croydon Hill sufficient water for such fountain and the right of entering for the purpose of building such fountain laying the necessary pipes and doing all other necessary acts for completing the same and keeping the same in repair but nevertheless making good all damage (if any) occasioned by or in relation to the laying or repairs of such pipes so far as the same should be laid over or under any part of the land comprised in an Indenture of Conveyance bearing date the Twenty ninth day of September One thousand eight hundred and eighty four and made between the said Joseph Ruscombe Poole of the first part Alexander Wynch and the said Mary Wynch his wife of the second part and Worsley Battersby of the third part and indemnifying the said Worsley Battersby his heirs and assigns against all expenses (if any) incurred in relation to such fountain and pipes and also subject to the stipulation that the dedication to the use of the inhabitants of Timberscombe aforesaid of the water by which the village was supplied should not in any way be disturbed