Pictures courtesy of Debbie and Tom Muller: The Plough 30th September 2012 with members of the Page family
The Hunton Horse Plough has been given to the village and was made at the Carbrooke Foundry during the late 19th or early 20th century. The metal plough parts would have been cast at the foundry and the wood used, probably oak, would have been sourced locally. In 1900 a complete single furrow Hunton horse plough would cost a farmer around £2 to buy.
When the horse plough was purchased for the village at a farm sale around 2005 it was taken to HMP Wayland, who had agreed that Prisoners could undertake the restoration of the plough. Before any work could start photographs were taken of a similar plough at the Rural Life Museum at Gressenhall. The prisoners used these photographs as a pattern for the rebuilding the plough.
It was found that all the cast components were there, but oak had to be purchased for the plough’s main beam and handles by which the horseman steered the plough. One of the prisoners who worked on the plough was a Portuguese farmer who was still using a horse plough in his native country. He worked on the plough right up to the day of his release. The final part of the plough’s restoration and fixing on the plinth, which has been completed by Carbrooke Estates.
One fact from the days when fields were ploughed by horses. Two horses pulling a single furrow plough would plough an acre a day and the horseman walking behind would cover eleven miles. In those days farm workers worked a six day week.
The ‘Page Hunton Plough’ has been sited outside the Village Hall on a brick plinth, constructed by Mr Tony Everett. In May 2012 the school children placed a Time Capsule inside the plinth, to celebrate the Queens Golden Jubilee.
The Plough was unveiled for the village by Mr John Page (grandson of the man who cast it) at the Carbrooke Heritage Harvest Festival 30th September 2012,and was blessed by the Vicar. John’s father, Harry Page was a stalwart member of Carbrooke, carrying out much work for the village and was Church warden for many years.
The Plough is being renovated, as the wood is starting to deteriorate. Although ploughs are considered to be for use outside, they were never designed to stay outside. A Plough was a very valuable piece of equipment for a farmer, and would have been stored under cover, in a shed whilst not in use.
Once repaired, it would be sensible for the Plough to again be stored under cover, and a suitable positionis being located.
Last updated 08.08.2022