The Annis and George Bills horse trough at the Blacksmith’s Cottage is a survivor of a series of troughs donated by the estate of Annis and George Bills.
When he died in 1927 George Bills left his estate of 80,000 pounds to ‘construct and erect and pay for horse troughs wherever they ………..are desireable for the relief of horses and other dumb animals.”
The bequest donated over 500 troughs throughout Australia. They were built during the late 1920’s and 1930’s. No troughs were built after the second world war. The source for this information is the Bacchus Marsh Heritage Guide – Bacchus Marsh and District Historical Society Inc. 2003 Pg. 28
There are two Bills troughs in Bacchus Marsh, one outside the hotel on the corner of Young and Main Streets and the one in the side garden of the Cottage. This was moved to the grounds of the cottage from Racecourse reserve in 2000.
Both troughs are now used as flower beds. The trough at the cottage is planted with geraniums, lavendar, epiphyllum and santolina. The Bills trough is located in the garden at the side of the cottage and is easily visible from the street.
The Blacksmith’s Cottage is open to visitors on a regular basis. Please see the calendar of events for opening dates, times and themes. Entry is FREE.