The joy of drainpipes

29 09 2009

A selection of rainwater funnelling arrangements from among Cheltenham’s finest.


Alma House, Rodney Road. This genteel Regency receptacle of 1835 vintage is on the side of the building, overlooking Imperial Lane. It’s decorated with three elegant blobs and an innovative bit-of-pipe-sticking-out-the-wall.


Another fine specimen of early 19th century drainage ironware. This one is at the back of shop premises in the High Street, and viewed from Vernon Place (with a big zoom lens).


Meanwhile, down at ground level … this is one of Cheltenham’s finest Regency terraces, Columbia Place in Winchcombe Street. The beautiful frontage is of course drainpipe-free, but go down a little lane at the side and the ugly truth is revealed. From a simple hole in the wall, a cracked iron funnel takes the water through several sections of mismatched leaky iron pipe bolted to the wall and into a drain several yards down the lane. Ingenious.


Lansdown Terrace Lane and another “bendy” with a Victorian top. I particularly like the way it looks like it’s disgorging its load into a tub of geraniums.


No prizes for guessing the date of these elegant and decorative specimens on St Philip and St James’s church in Grafton Road.


Normanhurst, Gothic house on the corner of Eldorado Road. A wonderful carved imp sits at the gable juncture between two jack-in-the-greens and a bit of wobbly hand-beaten lead pipe. Built in 1882, this may be Cheltenham’s most eccentric and beautiful drainpipe.


Well, if you’re not using that 1840s arch-topped window you may as well find a practical use for it. House in Queen’s Retreat.


Here in Wellington Lane we have the “oh sod it, let’s channel the water all the way round the front of the building and then dump the whole lot on the garage roof” solution.


And here among the old mews buildings of Tivoli Walk is a splendid example of the totally non-functional drainpipe.