The Shippon & Calf Shed North Wales


In the past there were hundreds of slate quarries producing vernacular slates with distinctive colours, textures and sizes.  Those days are long gone and there are now only a few active quarries in North Wales, Cornwall and Cumbria.  To help overcome the loss of the distinctive roofs produced using vernacular slates, in 2011 we arranged to buy slate block from Welsh Slate Ltd to hand split and dress slates to a traditional range of sizes and thicknesses.  


The first roof to be covered with these slates produced on site was on the shippon and calf shed near Caernarfon.  Although this was a humble building the project received the National Federation of Roofing Contractors Heritage Award in 2013


Since then our Traditional Slate Company has produced slates for many roofs including facsimile Swithland slates using Welsh Slate’s Heather Blue slate from Penrhyn Quarry near Bangor and blue-gray slates from Cwt y Bugail quarry in Blaenau Ffestiniog.  Swithland slate was last quarried in about 1834 in Leicestershire. 

The slates for this particular project were made on site after delivery of slate block. this is a premier service that we offer by making the slates next to the project. The roof was in poor condition with metal sheeting and various sized modern slates. The roof was stripped and the timber work repaired prior to the slating works. The slates were laid to riven lath with no felt and pegged over the laths. The roof was then lime mortar torched from the inside. This project is on the foot hills of Snowdon and has withstood high winds and rainfall. The roof looks as good today as when it was first slated.