Robert Lee Water Trough – Twinned with the Whitley Pump

Robert Lee Water Trough near Queenstown

Robert Lee Water Trough near Queenstown

Whitley Pump correspondent and Katesgrove resident Evelyn Williams reports from New Zealand. 

This water trough was erected near Queenstown in New Zealand 11,800 miles (18,900 km) from Reading. It lies on the Frankton – Ladies Mile Highway (SH6), close to Lake Hayes. The trough was designed for horses to use the upper trough and sheep and dogs to use the lower, not unlike Katesgrove’s own Whitley Pump.

The trough relied on an irrigation scheme that Robert Lee put in place to Threepwood Farm in 1911. He died soon afterwards and this memorial was put in place by his friends.

In Memory of Robert Lee 1911 Erected by his Friends

In Memory of Robert Lee
Erected by his Friends

Robert Lee emigrated from Northumberland to New Zealand in 1881. He worked as a farmer and had interests in the mining industry. He bought Threepwood Farm in 1910, which he named after Threepwood Hall where he had been born.


  1. Queenstown and District Historical Society, information board at the site of the trough.
  2. Allan de la Mare: Robert Lee, 1849-1911. Farmer, Businessman. in Queenstown Courier, May 1996. Official Publication of the Queenstown and District Historical Society.