Lead planters and other lead garden ornaments first gained popularity in the English gardens of the 17th and 18th centuries. The formal gardens of this time required large amounts of lead planters, urns and statuary. Lead became the material of choice as an alternative to hand-carved stone.
Prior to this, lead had been widely used in architectural applications, including roofing and rainwater management. Ornamental baptismal fonts and cisterns for rainwater collection had been made of lead, and are still in use many hundreds of years later.
In the nineteenth century, the structured formal gardens of earlier times gave way to more natural parks in which there was little need for ornamentation. However, lead ornamentation saw a revival mid-century which lasted through the Arts and Crafts movement. The original Bromsgrove Guild was renowned for its lead planters and other fine products.