Rosslyn’s Benevolence: Stone Gutters?

A pair of exciting — and slightly mysterious — artifacts have been disinterred from Rosslyn’s carriage barn today. 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 except for a metal gutter for sale on eBay does seems 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)

Sections of Old Stone Gutters
Sections of Old Stone Gutters at Parlington Hall, UK



About virtualDavis

A writer, storyteller and unabashed flâneur, George Davis (aka virtualDavis or G.G. Davis, Jr.) is the author of Rosslyn Redux: Reawakening a home, a dream and ourselves, a transmedia chronicle about rehabilitating an historic property in the Adirondacks with his bride. He blogs about storytelling, poetry, doodling, marginalia, flânerie, publishing, and other creativity-inspired esoterica at; posts sometimes exhilarating, often unnerving, occasionally euphoric, and always pollyanna "midlife mashups" at; chronicles his sailing adventures (and misadventures) at Sailing Errant; and delves into matters of parenting, babylandia, and childfreedom at Why No Kids? George formerly taught and coached at Santa Fe Preparatory School and The American School of Paris, and he co-founded and launched Maison Margaux: "Paris à la parisienne" in Faubourg Saint-Germain. He currently owns and operates Adobe Oasis in Santa Fe, New Mexico with his bride. George meanders on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube and Flickr.
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2 Responses to Rosslyn’s Benevolence: Stone Gutters?

  1. Kim says:

    Cool – I have not idea what they were originally used for, but If I had horses (carriage barn), it might serve as a way to pour water though the stall wall and into the stall. I really have no idea though and hope others have some ideas.

    • virtualDavis says:

      I’ve updated the post with some biased support of my gutters guess, but I may well be chasing a fantasy. Your idea of a way to pour water through the stall wall is compelling as well, though it would have needed to dump into another trough. Perhaps a larger stone tub that the horse could drive from. Hmmm… Thanks for the idea!

Your thoughts?