which consists of the villages of Crich, Fritchley and Whatstandwell

Drinking Troughs in Crich Market Place

E. J. Varty

Taken from the WEA booklet written to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II in 1977.

Crich drinking troughs

THE old stone drinking troughs have stood for so long in Crich Market Place that their age has been forgotten. There are residents who tell of grandparents playing around them as children in the 1840's, but it is probable that they were old even then, and in the list of Derbyshire County Treasures, they are recorded as "ancient."

In the days when the only means of moving stock from place to place was on the hoof, many a weary beast on its way to the cattle market, which was held up by the church, must have stayed thankfully to slake its thirst at the old troughs, and surely sight of their clear, cool water cheered the heart of many a pack pony or cart horse at the end of a sharp climb up to the village.

Once a common sight in rural England, the old stone trough has now become something of a rarity. With the advent of motor transport, many were broken up and incorporated in buildings - a fate which befell the set that stood on Fritchley Green - and others have been transformed into miniature gardens. Crich is fortunate to have retained such a fine example intact.

drawing of Crich troughs
Drawing by Frank Priestly

Mrs. E. J. Varty has lived in Fritchley for nine years. She is interested in all aspects of environmental conservation, and is an active member of Derbyshire Naturalist's Trust.

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