Parish of Leatherhead - the Horse Trough

May 2002 - Horse Trough by the Corner on Dorking Road.

The observant may have noticed a handsome stone horse trough filled with plants on the corner of the Dorking Road near the church. This originally stood on the site of the old Bradmere Pond at the foot of Park Rise in the Kingston Road. [It has now moved again to near the bus stop in front of the church].

When the pond was filled in around 1905 a Mrs. Braybrooke of Eastbourne donated the trough for horses to drink from. She was a founder member of the Anti-Vivisection League and a fervent supporter of the RSPCA, but we don't know what her connection with Leatherhead was.

The trough was removed probably during the 1930s - can anyone remember exactly when? It was then for many years in the garden of 1 Vale Lodge, the part which Dennis Hooker owned. When he moved to Orchardleigh the trough moved too, but his family have recently offered it back to the Council who have placed it in its present position where it looks very handsome.

Linda Heath

Be merciful to all God's creatures

June 2002
The Horse Trough
- Thanks to several people who contacted me, and a letter in the local paper from Mrs. C. M. John of Mickleham, we have been able to piece together the story of the horse trough! I discovered that it stood between where the Shell Garage is now and the steps up to the King George V Gardens. I had thought that it was moved in the 1930s, but several people mentioned its being there in the 1960s, and Mrs. John explained that in 1964 the Council were going to remove the trough and dispose of it but she said she knew someone who would love to have it.

This turned out to be Lucy Hooker, Dennis's first wife, who bought it for 5 and took it to Vale Lodge. Years later, when Dennis and Mary moved to Orchardleigh, the trough went with them. Dennis's daughter, Sarah, first offered the trough to the Museum, but as they couldn't afford the cost of moving it, then to the Council, who moved it to its present position. Thanks to everyone who filled in the story!
Linda Heath