Gutters and downpipes: original details

Internal gutters were common until about 1910 but were dispensed with after that. In homes where internal gutters were used they have often been replaced.

Internal gutters

Internal gutters (see Figure 1) were a common feature until about 1910, but subsequent construction saw the internal gutter dispensed with due to the difficulty in stopping the galvanised iron gutters leaking (see Figure 3).

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Eaves gutters and downpipes

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Eaves gutters, fixed to the fascia, were typically a galvanised iron ogee profile with external brackets, supplied in 8’ (2.4 m) lengths with joints soldered on site. 


Downpipes were round galvanised iron in 8’ (2.4 m) lengths.

Downpipes may have discharged into corrugated iron water tanks, been drained to soak pits or simply onto the ground.


Original metal guttering is likely to have been replaced either with metal similar to the existing, or with plastic.

Joints in valley gutters and internal gutters made from galvanised iron were typically soldered. However, thermal movement could lead to the soldered joint fracturing. Together with a lack of slope in internal gutters, this gave rise to leaking.

Internal gutter construction

Gutter construction varied from a simple shallow trough or V (like a valley detail) to a tapered valley laid over firred framing to give a fall (Figures 5 and 6). Often the outlet to the valley gutter discharged over a small portion of roof before being contained by the eaves gutter (Figure 7).


Internal gutters were eliminated in some cases by reconstruction of the roof forms (Figures 8 and 9).