During my survey of the extant MDFCTA troughs a number of common themes have emerged linking the various structures.
Click here for a list of troughs that I have tentatively assigned to an MDFCTA structure number.
Click here for a list of troughs that are definitely MDFCTA structures but which have been moved, often very far, from their original location which makes it difficult to assign to an MDFCTA structure number.
Click here for a list of troughs that have the same size and shape as an MDFCTA trough but don't match any structure in the MDFCTA records.
Click here for a list of troughs that I'm pretty confident are not MDFCTA structures, but have been included for completeness only.
Most MDFCTA cattle/horse troughs are a standard rectangular design with an optional dog trough underneath and/or fountain head, normally at one end. The standard sizes are 4ft (rare), 6ft 6in, 9ft 6in or 18ft. However, some standard rectangular design troughs are of a non-standard size.
In addition, to the standard designs, there are several examples of more elaborate, special trough/fountain combinations and a few, rare circular troughs.
Some troughs are slightly curved, while others have a sloping front.
Approximately half the MDFCTA cattle/horse troughs were fitted with a fountain head for people. Normally (for designs 1b, 1d and 2b) the fountain head was fitted to the end of the trough but for design 1e the fountain head was fitted in the centre of the trough. In addition to troughs with no fountain head, or a single fountain head, I have found some troughs with two fountain heads, one at each end. A few examples of single fountain head designs are fitted with a high fountain head.
A few troughs were sufficiently unusual to be described by the location of the first such example. High Wycombe design troughs were constructed from special, polished red granite, with an extra high fountain head. Park Lane design troughs were constructed from special, polished "Cheesecoring" granite.
Most troughs are constructed from grey granite or granolithic. However, a few troughs are made from red granolithic.
The inscriptions on many troughs include either the name of the donor, or the person(s) to whom the structure was erected in memory of: Banbury; Barlow; Benjamin; Bills; Braybrooke; Buxton; Collison; Drummond; Florence; Gordon; Kingsley; Kirby; Leigh; Paterson; Prater; Reardon; Spurrier Wright; Trotter. Many more MDFCTA troughs include "one off" inscriptions that don't fit any pattern. In addition, a number of non-MDFCTA troughs include the name of the donor: George Clay; Mrs. William Jenkins.
Many troughs were erected to commemorate the golden jubilee (1887), diamond jubilee (1897) and death (1901) of Queen Victoria and the coronation of King Edward VII (1902) and King George V (1911).
Other troughs were erected in memory of the losses, both men and horses, suffered in the Boer War and World War-1.
Other charitable organisations such as the RSPCA, the Dumb Friends League and the Band of Mercy donoted the funds for troughs erected by the MDFCTA.
The MDFCTA inscription on troughs is normally in full i.e. "METROPOLITAN DRINKING FOUNTAIN & CATTLE TROUGH ASSOCIATION". For an unknown reason, on some troughs the "&" in the inscription is replaced by the word "AND". On others, the full MDFCTA name is truncated. Some troughs include the phrase "PRESENTED BY THE" before MDFCTA name. Other troughs contain no obvious inscriptions.
Unfortunately, some troughs have been stolen, while others have been badly damaged or broken. A few are now missing from where I originally found them.