I know that this is going to sound strange, but one of the first things that struck me about older properties in Yorkshire was the wooden gutters, particularly on out buildings. I hadn’t seen these before and had assumed that the guttering was made up using standard pieces of timber – it all looked very hand-made.
Now we have our own outbuildings, we have our own wooden guttering too! I don’t know why, but it never occurred to me to look at it more closely until now. This is mainly because I am not that convinced by the plastic guttering that we have put on the re-roofed outbuilding. Maybe, it will be more temporary than I expected! Still, it will keep the rain away from the base of the wall, but it doesn’t add much to the look of the property.
The existing wooden guttering is made from a single piece of timber that has had the water channel machined out. A hole is then cut into the base of the gutter for the down pipe, this is achieved using a lead “top hat” – think of a top hat upside down where the water flows out of the top (or rather bottom) of the hat. This “top hat” is inserted through a hole in the gutter and into the top of a drain pipe (made of a material of your choice).
Bizarrely, I saw the lead top hats in the builders merchants last week and thought “oh, they look like the inserts for the wooden gutter, I wonder what they are really used for!” It would appear that they really are for wooden gutters after all. A quick investigation online would appear to show that there are a number of local suppliers of both wooden gutters and lead top hats. More investigation needed.