Slate has been used as a natural roofing material for hundreds of years and is still widely used in the UK. Although it hasn’t always been as popular as it is now, it was nonetheless touted for its reliability and beauty. It was not until the Industrial Revolution that slate became known to the world.
Slate roofing has a long heritage that dates to antiquity. Slate has been used as a roofing material since the Roman Empire, when it was employed to cover villas and public structures. In Wales, where the resource was plentiful, slate roofing first appeared in the 12th century. As a result, a cottage economy centred on the creation of slate roofing tiles was created. It had gained popularity in England and other parts of Europe by the 16th century. The Northeast of the United States, where slate resources were found in Vermont, Pennsylvania, and other states, saw the introduction of slate roofing in the 17th century. Finally, in the 19th century, slate roofing started to be used more often in the US, especially in urban areas where fire safety was an issue.
Rise of slate roofing – How it became a roofing option for the world
Prior to the Industrial Revolution, most structures would have had roofs made of whatever was locally accessible. Slate was a common building material in Wales, Scotland, and the Northwest. Heavy stone slate was used in more central regions, such as the Cotswolds, where it can still be seen on roofs today. Thatch was used in other parts of the nation because it could be moved by horse-drawn waggons and was much lighter. The North had a surge of construction during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. With the construction of thousands of new homes to house the labour force for the numerous factories and mills that had grown up in the haste of Victorian progress, towns like Manchester quickly transformed into cities.
Slate could now be transported more easily to the locations where it was needed for new projects, thanks to the rapidly growing railway network. Improved mining and manufacturing methods enabled the mass production of roofing slates. Wales provided more than 80% of the schedule used in Britain, and by the start of the 20th century, production had reached a peak of about 500,000 metric tonnes annually. Decline Slate remained a preferred and durable option for roofing material, but as the new century went on, other materials started to appear.
The popularity of slate roofing today
The slate mining business made considerable strides in cutting the slate and carrying it to the surface in response to competition from new roofing materials and techniques. Improvements in the production of roof slates came along with this and gave the traditional type of roofing a new lease on life by enabling higher output and lower costs. Slate is now being transported into Britain from all over the world due to high demand, although Welsh and Cumbrian slate is still regarded as the best in the world. Slate roofs can last for more than a century, and are highly preferred for its durability, appearance, and low maintenance needs.