Slate Roofing began in 1283, After Slate was used to roof the eight towers of Conwy Castle it gained popularity among the nobility. Slate also began to be used for churches and monasteries across england and wales.
The slate was cut into various sizes which were given names by the quarrymen, these included: Queen, Princess, Duchess, Marchioness, Countess, and Viscountess.
“By the strike of his hammer without the king’s aid
A Lady or Countess or Duchess is made
Yet high is the station from which they are sent
And all their great titles are got by descent
And when they are seen in a palace or shop
Their rank they preserve and are still at the top”
Verse quoted in an article on Penrhyn Slate Quarries
in Bradshaw’s journal, Volume 2 1842
During America’s colonial period nearly all examples of slate roofing appears to have been imported from the slate quarries of north wales. although in jamestown virginia archeological excavations have discovered roofing slate in strata dating as far back as 1625.
Because of Roofing Slate’s Legendary Fire Resistance Seventeenth Century Building Ordinances in both New York and Boston Massachusetts recommended using Slate Roofing or Tile Roofing to Help Prevent Fire Damage.
the First Roofing Slate Quarry in america was opened in 1785 in Peach Bottom Township, Pennsylvania. When the Roofing Slate Quarries of Vermont Opened up in the mid 1840s the biggest obstacle to getting quality roofing slate to the rest of the united states was transportation.
Along Came the Industrial Revolution, and with it, the railroad, with transportation no longer a problem suddenly slate roofing became much more affordable, affordable slate roofing stones meant Across america and Britain more homes received slate roofing.
A Lot of the roofing slate that originally traveled along those railroads still adorns houses across america and britain to this day, a silent monument to the Enduring nature of Stone.