Village Alive Trust
Village Alive Trust

Saving Bradney's Horse Trough

in Llantilio Crossenny, Monmouthshire

What do we want to do?

The project will conserve and preserve a piece of local history that should not be lost. This simple project, undertaken by local people, will bring to life a forgotten hero and his links with this area and with the County of Monmouthshire.


Bradneys Horse TroughBradney’s Horse Trough was once essential to travellers on the road between Monmouth and Llantilio Crossenny for water for themselves and their horses. You could not go far with tired, thirsty animals! Over the years, the stone on the trough has laminated and the framing wall attacked by ivy and decay in the lime mortar and some loss of stone. The trough and wall are now in a serious state of decline which, if not arrested, will lead to loss of stone and carving. This Listed grade II monument is worth saving in its own right as a reminder of the days when a free water supply for passing people and horses was an everyday necessity. It is crucial to act now or it will be lost.

But, over and above this heritage and poignant reminder of a time when we did not speed past in motor vehicles, is its association with Joseph A. Bradney.

Bradneys Horse Trough

Bradney’s Horse Trough showing lamination and loss of stone and cracks in the trough.

In 1882, Sir Joseph Bradney commissioned the architect F. R. Kempson to build a new mansion at Tal-y-Coed near Llantilio Crossenny, Monmouthshire. This included an ornate Horse Trough opposite the pillared gates at the entrance to the Court. The carving on the Trough says: Dwfr yn rhydd I bawp - Free Water for All.

Bradney served in the First World War with the rank of Colonel, was High Sheriff of Monmouthshire, a county councillor and alderman for 30 years and, famously, an antiquarian. Between 1904 and 1933, Bradney researched and published his monumental History of Monmouthshire in 12 parts detailing the important buildings in every village and the histories of local families. This work is an invaluable record of early 20th century Monmouthshire which, more importantly, set the template for recording and recognising the significance of the County’s vernacular architecture. His work gave a head start and a foundation to heritage conservation today. Bradney was a Commissioner for the fledgling Royal Commission for Ancient and Historic Buildings Wales and his work was built on by Fox and Raglan whose work led to Listing (Cadw).

Who will benefit?

Everyone travelling on the B4233 will see the conserved trough and carefully rebuilt wall. There is keen local interest and pride in saving it. Local people, including young people, will be reminded of this local hero who achieved a huge legacy for heritage and who served his County and his country with great distinction.

How will we do it?

Working in partnership with the owners of the Horse Trough, the Village Alive Trust, which is a charity run by local people who are expert in the conservation of historic buildings, will employ specialists in working with historic stone structures to rebuild the wall and stabilise the trough, and will install a plaque to record the history of the place and its founder, Sir Joseph A, Bradney and to explain his important legacy for heritage in Monmouthshire. The project is estimated tocost approximately £9000.

Part of loss of wall stonework.

Bradneys Horse TroughBradneys Horse Trough

Bradneys Horse Trough 4

Project by The Village Alive Trust in partnership with the owners.

A registered Charity and Company limited by guarantee serving heritage and the community.