Rainy days (right) this selection of rainwater heads ranges from a fine lead example
of the late 18th century to a red Gothic example originally designed by George Edmund
Street. This example was discovered on the 1867 section of Brookwood Hospital, Knaphill,
Surrey, during demolition.
Here’s looking at you (below) this gargoyle was cast in three sections and produced
by Walter MacFarlane’s Saracen Works in Glasgow. It came from a circa 1898 building
adjoining the Sutton Arcade in South London. The foundry produced a wide range of
A galvanised cast iron rainwater head (left) probably designed by Harrison Townsend
and dated 1911.
Utilitarian glazed ceramic rainwater head (below left) 1906, from the laboratory
block of the Imperial Institute, Kensington, London. Designed by the architect Sir
Old ways with wet weather
The rainwater head (hopper) is often a beautiful and decorative object in its own
right, and sometimes extremely heavy. Its development is charted from the lead varieties
of the 17th century through to the complex and diverse cast-iron designs of the second
half of the 19th century. Simple designs of the 1950’s, and the early PVC prototypes
of the 1960’s, right up to the present day, are also in The Collection. Down-pipes
and gutter profiles are also featured.
This late 18th to early 19th century copper rainwater head (left) was, probably,
Circa 1950’s asbestos rainwater head (below) Asbestos rainwater goods, with their
lower maintenance needs, were generally used on industrial and agricultural buildings.