Just when Rosslyn’s flooded basement (second time in two weeks) starts to discourage me, I am reminded of her benevolence.
These beautiful, hand carved stones had been buried 2 feet underground and were serving as footers for upright supports in the carriage barn stalls. Gutter downspout troughs perhaps?
They are works of art. And heavy as lead. Massive hunks of local limestone with almost perfectly round “bowls” leading into rounded run-out troughs. I imagine rain gutters dumping water into these, directing the flow away from the foundation. Perhaps it’s just my wishful thinking? It’s been so soggy. Rain for the better part of the last month…
Next year I may skip the vegetable garden and plant rice.
And unless a smarter suggestion comes in from one of you about the likely application of these stone troughs, I’m thinking I’ll use them as gutter stones. But first we need to install gutters!
I’ve just been reminded that the two men who disenterred the carved stone blocks suspected they might be two halves of a form. But for what? They are remarkably similar for hand carved artifacts, but I can’t discern a likely product that would be made with this form.
“A canon ball,” one suggested hopefully.
Possible, though the fill tube is enormous and would require lots of finish work once the casting cooled.
My gut is telling me that they were part of a stone gutter system. I’ve looked for images but turned up nothing. Although this metal gutter which was for sale (but no longer is) on eBay does seem to support my hypothesis.
The following excerpt and image are consistent with my speculation, but perhaps I’m chasing a fantasy? Any/all insight would be welcome and appreciated!
Stone Gutters: Scattered about in no particular location that could pinpoint where these sections of masonry were originally installed, are pieces of sandstone with a hollowed out semi-circular trough running the length of the piece, roughly three feet long each. Five have been unearthed todate. These heavy pieces of masonry are very old and as far I can tell are stone gutters which would have sat at the head of the external walls to carry rainwater from the sloping slate roofs. I have produced a series of sketches which illustrtate how the stone was sited in the wall. (Parlington Hall)
- Former Rosslyn Bathhouse (essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Vintage Postcard: Rosslyn/Essex Waterfront (essexonlakechamplain.com)