I went on vacation last week to Allendale, Nova Scotia, where my Loyalist ancestors came way back in the 1780s. Allendale is just up the road from Lockeport, a small port and fishing community settled back in 1762 by Jonathan Locke and Josiah Churchill. In 1876 Henry Locke, a descendant of Jonathan's, built this grand Victorian home overlooking the port, where the comings and goings of ships could be monitored easily. Now owned by Fred Partridge--also a descendant--it houses an interesting mystery.
Up under the roof, built into the attic, is a rainwater collection system that somehow collects rain from the roof and deposits it via four attic pipes down into a basement cistern, which would have been used for all sorts of purposes back in its pre-modern plumbing days.
You might think it is an easy system to figure out, but Fred--who knows his home and home improvement--hasn't been able to figure this one out. Even when the roof was redone a few years ago neither he nor the workers up on the roof could find signs of how exactly the water collects in the pipes in the attic before dropping to the basement. It definitely has nothing to do with the external gutter system.
For a look at the attic piping system, go to the MyProject page I set up with more images. Have you ever seen a system like this?