Reinstatement of the horse trough on Whetstone High Road

The redevelopment of most of the the High Road in Whetstone over the years has allowed many residents to forget what a historic area it actually is. Most new residents, and there are many with all the development in the area, have no idea.

In an attempt to rectify this, Love Whetstone has been working with local Councillors Caroline Stock and Stephen Sowerby and the Friern Barnet & District Local History Society on a project to replicate the street scene by reinstating the horse trough that stood next to the whetstone outside the Griffin Public House – see first photo below.

The horse trough was one of a number installed by the Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough Association in the London area, in districts such as Whetstone, where there was a large amount of horse drawn traffic. Some troughs, such as the one near the Spaniards Inn in Hampstead, have recently been given a Grade 2 listing.

The Whetstone horse trough was removed when the pavements were repaired a number of years ago and never replaced. In order to inform the public about this corner of Whetstone, a plaque will  also be erected between the whetstone and the trough.

Love Whetstone has received a £5000 grant towards the costs of this project. Unfortunately it falls short of what is actually needed to carry it out. The replacement granite horse trough with its distinctive Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough Association lettering is being made to order as we are unable to source a suitable reclaimed or second hand one. The lectern-style plaque will be graffiti-proof. Fees for the Planning Application (already submitted) and final installation costs will require a further £2500. A number of local societies have generously agreed to make a donation towards the shortfall and to fundraise in support of the project.

It is our hope that this project will appeal to local residents and businesses in our community and encourage them also to make a donation towards the cost.

Keeping local history and its traditions alive is key to remembering Whetstone’s character.

If you would like to make a donation, please email  

for information on how to do this.

The whetstone and horse trough 100 years ago
The whetstone as it is today

The Whetstone horse trough would have looked like this one in Barnet opposite the Black Horse pub in Wood Street