Pensnett RSPCA Animal Drinking Trough


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
outside St Mark's Primary School, High Street, Pensnett, Brierley Hill, DY5 4DZ


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Statutory Address:
outside St Mark's Primary School, High Street, Pensnett, Brierley Hill, DY5 4DZ

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Dudley (Metropolitan Authority)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:


An animal watering trough, erected in 1912 to commemorate the coronation of George V, and maintained by the RSPCA.

Reasons for Designation

Pensnett RSPCA animal drinking trough, erected in 1912 to commemorate the coronation of King George V, is listed at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest: * it is one of few known surviving examples of RSPCA-maintained drinking troughs; * its main component parts of concrete trough resting on blocks, is intact, despite the probable loss of its drinking fountain; and its inscription is legible. Historic interest: * for its association with the RSPCA, the world's first animal welfare charity, and as an eloquent relic of a society reliant on horse-based transport; * as a trough erected by the community to commemorate the coronation of King George V.


From the mid-C19 to the early C20 special provision for drinking troughs for cattle, horses and dogs was made by charities such as the RSPCA and the Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough Association. There was great concern for the suffering of animals caused by a lack of drinking water, particularly for horses which were not uncommonly worked to death, and for cattle which made journeys to metropolitan markets lasting for several days without water. In 1872 the Association wrote that 'the sufferings which were endured by parched and wearied animals in our streets before the Society undertook the erection of cattle troughs... must have been past all imagination.' The early designs for troughs were made out of iron or timber lined with zinc, but these proved impractical and granite was adopted as the most durable material. Some examples incorporated a bowl and fountain to provide drinking water for humans. The Association was responsible for supplying over a thousand drinking troughs but the number erected by the different branches of the RSPCA is unknown, though relatively few are known to have survived.

The drinking trough at Pensnett was made in 1911, and commemorated the coronation of George V. The Pensnett Coronation Committee voted in July 1911 to fund a drinking trough for cattle and fountain for children, presumably as the site identified for the trough was outside a school. There were calls to consider the cost of the trough’s upkeep, and the inscription on the trough records that it was maintained by the SPCA. It was probably erected in 1912: in November of that year it was reported that the local council had no objection to its installation, subject to the agreement of the precise site with the county surveyor. The trough remains in its original location, but has lost the drinking fountain from its eastern end.


An animal watering trough, erected in 1912 to commemorate the coronation of George V, and maintained by the RSPCA.


DESCRIPTION The trough is rectangular and rests upon two squared blocks, with low, rounded bollards butting against them, to repel wheeled traffic. The bottom edge of the trough, in between the blocks, is deeply chamfered, and the ends, rising from the supporting blocks, are moulded. The east end includes a semi-circular projection which would have been the site of a small basin for a human drinking fountain, since removed. On the south side is inscribed: TO COMMEMORATE THE CORONATION OF KING GEORGE V. 1911. / MAINTAINED BY THE STOURBRIDGE, KIDDERMINSTER AND DUDLEY / S.P.C.A.


‘Drinking trough at Pensnett’, in Lichfield Mercury, 15 November 1912
‘Pensnett Coronation Committee’, in County Express, 22 July 1911


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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