Most colonial houses had dripstones like this to filter and purify drinking water. They stood in the kitchen or on the veranda and had a vessel underneath to hold the clean water as it dripped through the stone. Most dripstones had a timber frame, although this example has a later metal stand.
This dripstone was found in the garden of the property 'Brymedura' on Mangadery Creek and may date from the 1850s. It is probably made from coral limestone quarried at Emily Bay on Norfolk Island, hence they were often known as Norfolk Island dripstones. More commercial ceramic water purifiers were also sold in the nineteenth century, using a variety of filtration materials including charcoal.
Loan Courtesy of Ian Marr