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Stone drinking troughs, often long abandoned in the depths of the countryside, are becoming much sought after – so much so that CLA member Rachel Adams who lives in the Yorkshire Dales has been able to turn an unusual hobby into a growing business. She has become the leading specialist in the UK, usually offering a choice of more than 50 troughs at any time.
Often more than 150 years old, authentic troughs are becoming increasingly scarce and as well as providing a superb feature, they are also a good investment for the future.
Rachel now has a wide network of contacts among landscape gardeners and developers as well as people who simply wish to own a beautiful object for their gardens. However, for Rachel, the most appealing side of the business is the excitement of locating some long forgotten trough.
Rachel’s husband was a farmer and as a result she has been able to use the grapevine of the local farming community, although these days, it is not unusual for her to travel up into Cumbria and down into Derbyshire in search of the best examples.
Many of the larger troughs are sold back to people with livestock or horses to become the centrepieces of refurbished stable yards or courtyards. Other country dwellers have simply put a small trough near their back door as an easy way of washing mud from Wellington boots. “One trough went to some people who were organising a shooting party and wanted somewhere to store game temporarily”, said Rachel, recalling one of the more unusual applications.
Ranging in sizes from 2 feet to 11 feet, the troughs also make excellent instant ponds for, although the most popular use continues to be as planters for flowers and bulbs.
Bigger troughs can weigh anything up to four tonnes, but delivery is not a problem, either in this country or overseas.
Rachel’s forays into the countryside occasionally produce other garden gems including millstones and staddle stones. Millstones laid on top of each other in different diameters can make interesting water features, whereas the mushroom-like staddle stones, formerly used to prevent vermin getting into timber frame barns, are frequently used to line driveways.
For more information Tel: 0113 2841184 or Mob: 07901077886