Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Down the drainpipe

This is one of the most wonderful drainpipes and hoppers I've noticed. It's on the main post office in York, which is a rather nice Victorian building altogether. 

The building was designed by Sir Henry Tanner, probably the Post Office's best-known architect. The year York Post Office was built, he became principal architect of HM Office of Works (the department responsible for designing most main post offices of the period). His post office work can be seen throughout the country, and included major London buildings such as the King Edward Building in St Martin's-le-Grand. 

Further reading: British Post Office Architects is full of information on both post offices and the people who built them. The British Postal Museum and Archive has published Built for Service: Post Office Architecture by Julian Osley.


SilverTiger said...

It's certainly an unusual size! I wonder whether it still functions. Why I say that is because at my old school (also a Victorian building), the builders had not connected one of the hoppers to the guttering and the doves had discovered this nice dry nesting box sheltered under the eaves. We would hear them cooing during lessons.

I notice that hoppers and drainpipes, if they are the originals, are often impressed with the year they were installed - a good clue to decoding the building. I have seen a church, built in several stages, with drain pipes bearing the separate dates!

The hopper is huge to overcome the problem of the water outflow being in a central position over a window. The result breaks the symmetry of the building (like a man with half his moustache shaved off) and I wonder whether this was a mistake on the part of the architect who only thought about drainpipes after the rest of the design had been completed.

CarolineLD said...

Interesting - that would explain the very long hopper. It is original, apparently, but sadly there appeared to be no year on it. (Perhaps with the stone carving, it seemed unnecessary.)