There are several cattle troughs dotted around town: this one was donated by the Mayor of Buckingham in 1901 and used to be found at the Railway Station. The station closed in 1963 when the trough was moved here. This site was chosen because this is where the cattle were penned on market days. You can see how important this market space was in this 1610s map of Buckingham. In the 1950s the cattle market closed for good. At the moment a local resident keeps the troughs well stocked with flowers.

Sheep were also regular visitors to the market, and the bottom half of this style of trough was used for sheep to drink. It could be hot in the market square, and on particularly sweltering days, drovers were known to herd the sheep into the courtyard of the Old Gaol to keep cool!

With thanks to the Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies for the use of archive photographs. Credit for image of Pied Wagtail to By Charles James Sharp – Own work, from Sharp Photography, sharpphotography, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.