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Whilst farm waggons predominated in the lowland farming regions, it was the cart which was found to be more useful in the hilly districts, especially in Wales and the North. As with waggons the local tradition was a major factor in design, and only a handful of the dozens of types are shown here. Modelmakers will find carts much quicker to build than waggons because, apart from there being only two wheels, there is no elaborate undercarriage.

Anglesey Cart

Cotswold Harvest Cart


Anglesey Cart Click here for list

This distinctive cart was built by a wheelwright on the island of Anglesey, and was one of a pair I measured on a farm near Benllech just before it was developed for housing. The style is quite different from that of carts in South Wales; indeed the forward projection of the sides beyond the headboard probably indicates an influence from the Mersey region, which had strong trading links with Anglesey. Other features of particular interest on this cart include the removable top extension boards on each side, the elaborate incised decoration and the unusual double tailgate.

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Cotswold Harvest Cart Click here for list

The wide side boards flared up to clear the wheels give a groceful line to this simple but elegant cart. The design originated in Scotland in the early 1800s, and became popular in many regions - this particular style is typical of Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire. The cart was used on a farm at Church Handborough, Oxon, and is now in the Oxford County Museum collection at Cogges Manor Farm, Witney.



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Surrey Dung Cart Click here for list

This drawing was not produced from an actual vehicle, but from the photographs and description in George Sturt's classic book "The Wheelwright's Shop". It embodies all the features of the typical village made dung cart, before it was replaced by factory made vehicles, and incorporates the names of parts as given by George Sturt. I do not know of any surviving example of such a cart in its original condition, but all the details of its structure are shown on this plan.

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Market Float Click here for list

Built in 1909 by Brookes of Gloucester, this was a very showy outfit for taking produce to market, painted in red and blue. The spindled sides give the vehicle a lighter appearance, but it is actually quite large and heavy, and would have been used on occasions for sheep and pigs as well as for vegetables and for the farmer's personal transport.

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Northumberland Harvest Cart Click here for list

The North of England does not have the variety of farm waggons found in the South, but to compensate for this their carts are very large, well made and, in this example, really elegant. The North of England Open Air Museum at Beamish has this cart on display in the Home Farm. It was built by Brown of Mitford, and was stored away in a barn when almost new, so it is in excellent condition. Note the light open spindled sides and the nicely curved rails.

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Dung Cart Click here for list

This Wiltshire dung cart is in the Jackson Collection at the Old Kiln Museum. It is small but strongly built, and is a nice shape, flaring up at the rear and tapering to the front. These features helped in handling the dense compact loads. This small cart is painted blue, with red wheels and shafts. It was built in 1926 near Warminster.




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Welsh Truckle Cart Click here for list

The earliest form of wheel such as was evolved in the Near East thousands of years ago is perpetuated on this simple vehicle. It is typical of carts used on the Gower peninsular for harvesting bracken and hay. Such vehicles represent the first stage in the development of wheeled transport from the sled or slide car. This truckle cart is one of several in the collection of the Welsh Folk Museum at St. Fagans, and was used at Llangennith, Glamorgan.

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Welsh Gambo Click here for list

The Gambo is the Welsh version of the haywain, built with a long low platform to suit use in hilly country. This example has been restored for display at the Welsh Folk Museum, having been in use previously at Taly-bont-on-Usk. When loaded the vehicle would be invisible beneath a mountain of hay, with the wheels kept clear by the side ladders. Used extensively in Southern and Eastern Wales and also in the boarder counties.



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Welsh Long Cart Click here for list

Compared with English carts this one is not only long, but also narrow, to suite Welsh lanes. It has rails above the sides to deepen the body; the shafts are in one piece with the body frames, and can be lifted off from the axle. These carts were used for harvest work in Wales during late Victorian times, and similar vehicles were used in the North of England and Scotland. This example was built in 1920, and is now at the Welsh Folk Museum at St. Fagans, near Cardiff.


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