• Cast Iron Wall Plates

    Sometimes the walls of old buildings require structural repair and support as they become unstable over time. Wall plates, also known as bar plates or pattress plates, offer the ideal solution as they can secure walls without being detrimental to their appearance and, in many cases, can actually enhance a period property. 

    Made from cast iron, our wall plates combine strength and functionality with period style. We offer a choice of designs, circular or oval, 1″ thick with a central hole to fix the tie rods. We also offer an elegant design with a rose option at the centre. 

    Find out more in our online catalogue.

  • Union Clips, Sockets and Spigots

    We are often asked, ‘What is the purpose of a union clip and do I need one for each gutter?’ 

    Every cast iron gutter has a jointing piece built in to one end, either an external one known as a socket, or an internal one known as a spigot. This is how gutters are connected to each other. 

    A union clip can be used as a double socket or double spigot; its purpose is to provide a joint where there wouldn’t otherwise be one, usually when reusing an off-cut of a gutter which can then reduce the total number of gutters required for a job.  

    With rainwater and soil pipes, the joint is an external socket at the top of the pipe. Here we offer a union socket, sometimes called a loose socket, again to allow those off-cuts to be used. 

  • Maintenance of Rainwater Goods for Winter

    Have you checked your hopper heads are firmly attached to your downpipes? Are your gutters clean, unclogged ready for winter conditions? It’s important to check rainwater goods at this time of year when trees are shedding their leaves and before winter sets in, to keep the outside drainage system of your home working efficiently. 

    Whilst it’s wonderful to watch the autumn leaves change their hue and fall from the trees they can cause havoc, clogging gutters and obstructing drains. Even a small blockage can cause water to back up and flood the surrounding area and possibly penetrate a property; we recommend setting aside some time every week to clear leaves and debris from drains and pipes to keep the drainage system working efficiently. 

    Water is the main cause for decay in most traditional buildings. In many cases, regular maintenance and repair of rainwater goods can vastly improve a property’s condition without having to resort to expensive and intrusive interventions. This maintenance should be carried out from the roof right down to the ground and it’s a good idea to go out and check your building in the rain – this can highlight issues and leaks you might not always see if you do your maintenance on dry days. 

    Check pipes for any holes, cracks or signs of deterioration. Pipes and gutters should be repainted periodically to protect from rust and corrosion, check the condition of paint and consider repainting if necessary to prolong their life. Damaged drainage castings can often be repaired, and our expert engineers can help with replacing a missing piece or welding a broken section. 

     We can even replace ornate pieces by taking a cast of the design and replicating it, in many cases this provides a cost-effective alternative to replacement and is especially useful to preserve items of architectural interest.  

    The base of your property should also be checked to make sure that drains and drainage channels are clear and any plants growing against the foundation of a building should be removed; non-breathable surfaces like tarmac should not come right up to external walls. 

    With issues of increased rain due to the changing climate, maintenance may be needed more regularly in the future and if your rainwater goods are well maintained and still failing, they may need to be widened or sympathetically added to in order to prevent ongoing issues. 

    To find out more about our repair service, click here. 

  • Ornamental Guttering

    Cast iron has been the material of choice for guttering systems since Victorian times. Elegant and strong, and when correctly maintained, lasts for many years; if in doubt, take a look at the numerous original Victorian installations in use on many old buildings today. It’s still the best material to enhance a period style home due to its sheer good looks, strength and resilience. In fact, on many listed buildings, cast iron guttering is often a stipulation.

     During the Industrial Revolution, the great foundries were able to offer a vast range of decorative patterns. With many of these gutters now reaching the end of their useful life and needing replacing, we are still able to recreate these designs today. Using traditional sand-casting techniques and pattern methods, our new gutters should last as long as the originals. 

    We stock a huge range of gutter styles to suit a period property, with sizes ranging from 3″ to over 12″ width. We also hold patterns for many non-standard gutters including ornamental styles. In most cases, we can make new gutters to match original designs. We can replicate almost anything and regularly make gutters with unique or unusual features. We usually ask for a customer’s sample but can also work from drawings. Some of our recent designs include the Maresfield pattern, the delicate finish of Walter McFarlane’s No.58 pattern, the image at the top is a gutter design replicated for churches designed by the architect Augustus Pugin. Contact us to find out more about our stock guttering range and bespoke design service.

    MacFarlane No.58



  • Soil Pipe Systems

    A soil pipe conveys sewage or wastewater from a toilet or sink to a soil drain or sewer. They are easy to spot, running vertically from above the highest window to the underground drainage system. The soil pipe, also known as a soil and vent pipe, has a wider diameter than a waste pipe (which only carries water) so it can carry solid waste and is vented to reduce odour. 

    Vented soil pipes help to avoid a build-up of obnoxious smells by releasing odour into the atmosphere through the vents, at the same time oxygen enters the system to remove gases and prevent anaerobic decomposition. 

    Traditionally, soil pipes were made from cast iron, modern pipes are often made from plastic but using cast iron gives the advantage of strength and a much longer lifespan. We offer a huge range of soil pipe fittings suitable for virtually any layout on a building. As well as standard items, we can produce fittings that bend and branch as required, in any position, whilst connecting to other sizes of soil pipe. We can also adapt the length to reduce the number of connections, making it easier to pass through a wall so that any new system can be positioned in the best way to suit a building’s structure and aesthetic. 

    Contact us to find out more. 

  • Discover more about the J & JW Longbottom cast iron rainwater product range

    Discover more about the J & JW Longbottom cast iron rainwater product range 

    Although architects and builders are often required to provide technical details and requirements on rainwater goods, the Longbottom team are keen to meet and talk directly with the property owners who will be using their products. The Longbottom range is very wide with a lot of choice and options available, particularly for ornamental detail on items like hopper heads. 

    We pride ourselves on being approachable, taking the time to advise on the cast iron options available and how they will work on a specific property. We attend numerous trade events throughout the year, all over the UK, including homebuilding, renovating and listed property shows. We bring many of our products to the stand, meaning visitors are able to see and touch the cast iron goods rather than just looking at a photograph in a brochure. It’s also the perfect opportunity to ask any questions and discuss your requirements.

    We’ll be attending the Home Building and Renovating Show at the following locations in 2023:

                                                                            NEC Birmingham, 23 to 26 March 

                                                                             Sandown Park Racecourse, Surrey, 1 to 2 July 

                                                                             EXCEL, London, 22 to 24 September 

                                                                             Harrogate Convention Centre, 3 to 5 November 

    To find out more, click here:  https://www.homebuildingshow.co.uk/ 

    At our works in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, we carry stocks of most of our huge range. If you are finding it difficult to make a decision, a visit to the foundry might be beneficial to see the products up close, discuss requirements and obtain advice from the Longbottom team. 

    As a starting point, our full catalogue containing over 500 items is available online, or if you prefer, we can send a printed copy in the post. 

  • J & JW Longbottom has always had sustainability at the heart of its business

    J & JW Longbottom has always had sustainability at the heart of its business, long before it became the modern buzzword for everyone to strive to. Since the company was formed in the 1870s, manufacturing cast iron at our foundry in West Yorkshire, recycled material has gone back into the process. Cast iron is an incredibly sustainable metal which can be infinitely recycled, you can’t get any better than that!  

    Manufacturing cast iron has a significantly lower environmental impact compared to aluminium and steel. Cast iron has a high carbon content and is the closest metal to iron ore mined from the earth and needs minimal processing to create the finished product. Iron is the fourth most abundant, naturally occurring element in the earth’s crust.  

    Although one of the oldest materials in engineering, it now has a prominent place in the modern world with the focus on protecting the environment from global warming. Legendary for its long life and durability, the proof is still attached to Victorian buildings with rainwater and soil drainage features adorning buildings well over a hundred years later. Properly maintained cast iron products will last the lifetime of a building and when a building needs to be demolished, the cast iron can be used again for the same purpose 

    Only 10 to 15% of the material in our castings is pig iron (crude iron), the rest consists of scrap including old rainwater goods, offcuts from fabrication work and any failed castings that don’t meet our rigorous quality control standards. The metal is heated using an electric induction furnace which offers many benefits from using a traditional coke-fired furnace, including improved efficiency and not polluting the environment. Using an electric furnace generates less dust, fumes and Co2 emissions and heats rapidly, reducing costs and making the entire process more efficient. 

    We retain all the casting patterns to use again, so there is little waste involved. We hold the widest range of casting patterns in the industry. Many are original meaning we can offer matches for existing castings such as gutters, without the need to make a new pattern. 

  • Repairing offers a cost-effective solution for period properties


    Cast iron for drainage purposes on your period property has successfully stood the test of time but inaccessible areas of the drainage system can be difficult to maintain. Over the years castings may fail due to cracks appearing behind hoppers and fixings and in grooved fittings, allowing water to corrode the metal.  

    With over 100 years’ experience to our name, we’ve seen just about every way cast iron can buckle under the elements including collapsed drains, leaking pipes and corroded hoppers. External signs of damage can include saturation or staining of masonry behind or beneath the ironwork, plant or algae growth on the building, local failure of render or wet rot in external joinery. Internally, damp particles can appear on walls and ceilings or there may be a musty odour caused by dampness in the room. 

    Many rainwater drainage castings and gutters do not need to be replaced but can be repaired using traditional methods at our foundry in Holmfirth, Yorkshire, where we have been perfecting the art of manufacturing cast iron rainwater products since 1919. Our expert engineers can diagnose and repair these types of issues, replacing a missing piece of casting or welding a new section. We can replace ornate pieces by taking a cast of the design and replicating it through our professional and robust service. 

    In many cases this provides a cost-effective alternative to the replacement of items of architectural interest, whilst maintaining the period features and aesthetic of your home. Our clients have included the Royal palaces of Windsor and Kensington and Highgrove House, the private residence of Their Royal Highnesses King Charles lll and The Queen Consort. 

    As a family run business, we place immense value on providing an excellent service to our customers. Our ability to manufacture straight away means we can deliver repairs quickly and efficiently. Once repaired, many years of minimal maintenance and trouble-free use will follow. 

    If you’d like to know more about our cast iron rainwater repair service, get in touch 


  • The ultimate guide to pipe fixing methods

    The ultimate guide to pipe fixing methods 

    A cast iron rainwater pipe is one of the most recognisable features of a period property. After centuries of battling the elements, not to mention serving its primary purpose, it’s easy to see why these pipes can face a little wear and tear. 

    Thankfully, at J and JW Longbottom, we’ve been perfecting the art of manufacturing cast iron rainwater products since 1919. Everything is produced on-site at our foundry in Holmfirth, Huddersfield. With more than 100 years’ experience behind us, we’ve also seen just about every way in which a cast iron pipe can buckle under the elements. 

    This experience has taught us that there are just as many ways to fix cast iron pipes as there are to break them. Here are some of our tried and tested methods. 


    Ears are the most common type of pipe fixing, either bolt-on or cast-on. They are usually of a plain and functional appearance although it is possible to have ornamental ears fitted to a pipe. It is not uncommon to fit a spacer behind the ears to allow space behind the pipe for redecoration. Ears can be supplied for either flat or corner fixing. 


    Unlike ears, Earbands are separate castings to the pipe and fit around the pipe socket to hold the pipe back to the wall. The ear ends can be plain or ornamental. This method of fixing is more popular in Scotland than the ears method described above. Again, Earbands can be for flat or corner fixing although spacers such as bobbins do not work with Earbands without further provision. The inclusion of ornamental Earbands can greatly enhance the appearance of a pipe system. 


    A holderbat is a two-piece bracket which supports pipes around the collar and fastens them to a wall from a single point. They can be supplied for building into a wall or for screwing to it. 


    A holdfast is a u-shaped bracket that is driven into the wall and sits round the pipe socket. These are commonly used in Scotland. 

    Other methods 

    There are many other proprietary methods of fixing pipes to walls such as Sloan and Davidson’s Simplex Ear Plate or the socket snug and bracket system. Many of these have been replicated in our foundry and can be offered where required. 

    Speak to J and JW Longbottom about fixing your pipes today 

    However you wish to fix your cast iron pipe, you’ll want to do so in a way that preserves your home’s natural aesthetic, and the safety of the pipe. We have a comprehensive selection of fittings to help you get the job done, all made using traditional methods at our foundry in Yorkshire.  

    Get in touch to find out more.