Gail Thornton
a pictorial archive of horse


Farm Waggons and Carts

Farm waggon’s have four large wheels, in order to carry heavy loads and give sufficient ground clearance when traveling on rutted tracks and roads. Their designs, though similar, would vary from region to region largely dictated by the different terrain and requirements of the farming in each area, even down to the distance between the wheels. This real photographic postcard is one of my favorites and shows a wagon with a full load of straw bales. With just one horse pulling it is hoped that it doesn’t have to go too far. The disc on the front of the wagon states that it belongs to “George Thompson, Lutton Marsh, Lincolnshire”.  

Another example of a farm wagon and tandem but with no writing or postal marks on it is not possible to say where it is. One can assume it is summer because of the fly netting over the back of the lead horse.

Farm waggon’s transformed in to very convenient public transport when needed. Here is a well-loaded waggon possibly on the way to a wedding given, not only the decoration of the horses, but the flowery hats of some of the ladies traveling in the waggon.  Unfortunately there is no information to identify the location.

Here an East Yorkshire Farm Waggon is doubling as a hearse. Though the post card has not been postally used someone has written on the back that it is a “Country funeral, Yorkshire possibly Driffield c1910-12”. How much this is a guess I don’t know but with the waggon being a close example of the design found in the 1908 Catalogue of “The East Yorkshire & Crosskills Cart & Waggon Co Ltd, Beverley” page 13, I would agree that it is in the right area.

This real photographic postcard shows another good use for the Farm Waggon, taking the family for a day out.  Looking at the decoration of the horses it would appear that they are on the way to a show and maybe entering the vehicle in a class.

Though this postcard has not been postally used and it is not in the best of conditions the waggon is identifiable. On the side of the vehicle is written “John Bentley Market Gardener St Germans”, which would appear to be in Cornwall. Again it would appear that this is a family day out.

With no load to carry you can clearly see the shape of the Farm Waggon, again being pulled by a tandem.  With the plumes on the horses and the vehicle looking well turned out it may be attending a show or fete.  The writing on the front panel reads “Revesby Grange,Lincolmshire,Chestor, ?, Revesby, 1923”.

As this is not a real photographic postcard the image is not sharp but you can just make out the “Hay Ladder” which extends over the rear of the horse. This allowed the waggon to carry a larger load of hay without impeding the horses. It would appear that the load is going to be very heavy as there are three horses in tandem. The card was posted in Settle in 1904.

It would appear that this wagon and team are at the side of a canal or river as the vehicle to the right in the background is a boat tied to the side of the bank.  Whether they are delivering or collecting goods it is difficult to say.  What is interesting is the turn out of the horses as they all have brasses on their bridles.  Though it has no identification marks someone has written on the back that it is thought to be located in Driffield, East Yorkshire.

Another fine example of the farm wagon doubling as a passenger transporter.  Given the people all appear to be dressed in their Sunday best and the wagon is decorated with a flag at the back and vegetation I do wonder whether they are going to celebrete the bringining in of the harvest.