Rainwater Water Systems

Integral to the design of all conservatories, greenhouse and their like is how to manage rainwater disposal. The standard solution is to collect the water directly off the roof and channel it, normally through a series of pipes, away from the vertical walls to either a soak way, drain or in some cases into tanks, either internal or external, above ground or below.

There are very few instances of the firm installing a conservatory or greenhouse without a rainwater collection and disposal system. However, the same cannot be said for those structures dispatched directly to the client for them to erect; here there are numerous instances where the client didn’t want such a system, presumably preferring to use their own solution.

Therefore it is not surprising that the firm produced and marketed a range of components, all in cast iron, including round downpipes, hopper heads, bends, shoes, swan-necks and connectors; available in four diameters 2, 2½, 3 and 4in. They also produced seven different profiles of roof gutters, including half-round, four types of ogee, rectilinear and larger valley gutters. In total they produced 23 size variations, including 5 in the half-round and 6 in the rectilinear.

The firm appears to have offered two standard solutions: an ogee profile gutter system for the more elaborate structures and a half-round profile gutter system for the more utilitarian structures; sizes normally varying according to the size of the structure and thus the amount of rainwater required to be managed.

By default, the firm assumed that the rainwater would be disposed of either into a soak away or drain. Where required, by the client, the firm would install a rainwater collection system; if above ground, then normally via a galvanised open-top cistern. These were typically located at the end of the greenhouse, either inside or out. If below ground, there were two solutions; the first was to sink a galvanised cistern into the ground, so that the top is flush with the ground level; the second was to install a large hidden underground tank, with a pump to extract the water. All these collection system required their own overflow disposal solutions, which could become quite sophisticated, especially with large underground systems.

Collection and Disposal Systems



Galvanised Cisterns.

Galvanised Cistern

These bought in cisterns were available in ten capacity sizes, ranging from 20 to 150 gallons; 24 dimensions and two thicknesses, although other sizes were available to order.


(L x W x D) (ins)



24 x 12 x 20
24 x 16 x 15
18 x 18 x 18

18 (approx..


24 x 17 x 17
24 x 12 x 24
24 x 20 x 18



24 x 18 x 19
20 x 20 x 20
24 x 24 x 15



27 x 20 x 20
24 x 24 x 19
22 x 22 x 22



24 x 24 x 24
29 x 22 x 22
31 x 24 x 19

16 (approx.


30 x 23 x 24
36 x 24 x 20



36 x 26 x 24



36 x 30 x 26
48 x 24 x 24
38 x 27 x 27



38 x 30 x 31



43 x 34 x 29






Conservatory Pumps

The pump which was available in two barrel sizes, 2½in and 3in. was typically supplied with lugs to fit directly onto a galvanised cistern, which was available in ten or eleven sizes, capable of holding between 20 and 150 gallons. The pump could also be supplied with lugs to bolt onto the wall or plank.

The pump and associated cistern were standard items and offered over a long period, possibly as early as 1880s and still available in 1938.   

Conservatory pump with open-top cistern – 1925 Catalogue