Cast iron rainwater goods were introduced in the late 18th century as a mass-produced alternative to lead. As well as being easier to produce, the material enabled eaves gutters to be installed much more simply, since lead could only be used in this location as a lining for timber gutters.
By the mid-19th century cast iron predominated. As a result, most old buildings now have cast iron rainwater systems which should be preserved and regularly maintained. Not only are they part of a building’s heritage and character, but they also keep water out of its fabric, and they are therefore vital to its structural integrity.
Cast iron pipes, gutters and their fittings have a highly distinctive appearance due to the texture of the material, its thickness, and the quality of the cast components.