A pair of exciting — and slightly mysterious — artifacts have been disinterred from Rosslyn’s carriage barn today. Just when the re-flooded basement (second time in two weeks) starts to discourage me, I am reminded of Rosslyn’s benevolence.
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 we’re serving as footers for upright supports in the carriage barn stalls. Gutter downspout troughs perhaps?
These beautiful, hand carved stones had been buried 2 feet underground and were serving as ad hoc footers for upright supports in the carriage barn stalls.
What are they? Gutter downspout troughs, perhaps?
What’s clear is that 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!
The two men who disinterred the carved stone blocks while renovating Rosslyn’s carriage barn (Doug Decker and Jacob Sawitsky) suspected that they might be two halves of a form used for casting. But what? They are remarkably similar for hand carved artifacts, but I can’t discern a likely product that would have been cast with this form.
“A canon ball,” one suggested hopefully.
Possibly, though the fill tube is enormous and would have required lots of finish work once the casting cooled.
My gut tells me that these hefty artifacts were originally part of a stone gutter system.
I’ve searched for evidence and initially turned up little (except for some antique metal gutters for sale on eBay that don’t really support my hypothesis.) And just when I began to acknowledge that I might be chasing a fantasy, I stumbled across the following excerpt and image which appear to be consistent with my speculation.
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)
I’m not to ready to close the book on this mystery, so I’m reaching out to you for thoughts. Any and all insights would be welcome and appreciated!
Update: Stone Splash Blocks
It turns out that my hunch was correct. These appear to be stone splash blocks, part of an old stone gutter system. In the photograph ahead, which showcases the sections used for conveyance of water from one point to another, you can imagine the stone splash blocks that we found located at the drop spot as a sort of collection pool that in turns directs the water into the stone gutter system. Eureka! (Check out “” for the autumn 2022 solution to the mystery.)