Currently the Wood Green Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough is a little noticed relic of our Edwardian past.
Sited outside the former Fishmongers Arms just past the Civic Centre, this Grade II monument is currently on English Heritage's at-Risk-Register.
I'm glad to be able to report that Haringey Council have just announced works to restore this fast crumbling monument. Although over half of the funding has come from external heritage sources, the Council are contributing £12,000 to the cost.
The works will enable the fountain to be removed from the Heritage-at-Risk-Register. in addition to stonework, works will include landscaping that will improve its setting and appreciation.
The Wood Green Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough was erected in 1901 by the Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough Association. The Association was set up in London in 1859 to provide free drinking water. It was closely connected with the Temperance movement and, in a move to try and encourage the population to drink water rather than beer, the fountains were often sited outside pubs. The Drinking Fountain at Wood Green was typical in that it was sited outside the Fishmongers Arms.
To help rehabilitate the fountain, I've added it to Google Maps.
Addendum: See my comment below for some clues about the complicated history of these monuments.
Lovely piece of furniture that needs restoring. Shame about the bin
It seems like these troughs very quickly became bones of contention. Even as the Wood Green trough was being installed, reports around the country tell a story of trough-woe!
There are reports of Tottenham residents petitioning for the removal of their local trough (though I'm not clear why they wanted it gone), and others of locals complaining that poor upkeep of the water had led to animal deaths whilst flower girls were spreading disease through them by using then to dip their flowers!. There are also numerous reports of the Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough Association seeking to shift the burden of maintaining them on to local councils. Of the examples I found, Edmonton agreed to take on one of their troughs whilst Kensington declined.
And we thought we just had a quaint old monument!
I was glad to see the Metropolitan Horse drinking trough outside coffee republic on WG high street has some plants in it. Lots of them are just full of rubbish. I've planted wild flowers in our local trough on Granville road, on the basis that if you put nice plants they get nicked, but thieves don't bother about wild flowers! Looks great in spring. Ditto our local tree pits, daffs coming up fine....why not put a few bulbs round your street trees next autumn?