Sat on rooftops in historic villages, churches and stately homes, Collyweston slate has helped define the look of some of England’s most well-loved traditional buildings.
Starting out in the Northamptonshire village of Collyweston centuries ago, mining for the slate throughout the East of England hit its peak in the late 1800s but it stopped altogether in the 1970s, with extraction of the distinctive limestone becoming commercially unviable.
There are still a couple of slate mines open and the slate is available in reclaim yards. It’s durability and aesthetic appeal continuing to make this roof covering not necessarily one that you would choose for a new house, but certainly one you would retain and maintain for an older house.
Working with Collyweston slate is an extremely specialised set of skills, more akin to stone masonry than roofing, though the principles still remain the same, the work involved is very time consuming and this in turn makes any maintenance work expensive. While patches and repairs can be done in days and weeks, complete renovations of a roofs can takes months or even years. The benefit of this is that Collyweston roofs will last for centuries and who can say they are not some of the prettiest roofs around ?