national maintenance week heading

Advice & Guidance

A Brief History of Gutters

AD 47: The Romans bring drains to Britain. They understand the importance of water management and have a goddess of the sewers, Cloacina.

St Mary Redcliffe1066: The Norman invasion instigated a massive rebuilding of English towns and churches. Grand buildings have stone roofs and parapets, which lead to gutters and gargoyles to throw the water clear.

1240: Possibly the first British downpipe erected at the Tower of London to protect the newly whitewashed walls.

Middle Ages: Cramped conditions and vulnerable building materials make gutter disputes among the most frequent cases heard by local authorities. Anti-fire legislation encourages tiled roofs, which are easier to attach wood, lead or clay tile gutters to.

1539: The dissolution of the monasteries provides large quantities of recycled lead and creates a flowering in rainwater goods, with hopper heads and cisterns on grand houses incorporating dates and heraldic designs.

1709: Coke first used in the production of cheap and plentiful cast iron. By the 19th century cast iron had replaced lead as the most popular material for rainwater goods.

1939 - 1945: World War II speeds up the development of plastics and by the 1950's cheap plastic gutters and downpipes supersede cast iron.

November 2002: The first SPAB National Maintenance Week.

Friday 26th November 2010: SPAB's ninth National Gutters Day!