A Brief History of Slate

the history of slate

Slate is used throughout the UK in commercial developments and residential buildings

A familiar material across the UK’s rural and industrial landscape, slate has been used for roofing and flooring since time out of mind. Across the UK, people welcome this most iconic of natural materials into both commercial developments and residential buildings.

People like slate. They like it simply for what it is – a uniquely practical, natural material with a durable, traditional association, a part of their building that has not been manufactured, but quarried in an extraction process that goes back centuries.

Slate beds were formed millions of years ago. In tectonic terms, the Earth was still astonishingly active, with pushing, pulling, shunting and shearing forces working over huge periods of time and on a continental scale. Deposited silts and mud, subjected to heat and pressure modification during these geological batterings, were repeatedly folded, tilted and recrystallised. As a result, the sediments metamorphosed into new rock types.

Now, in twenty-first century Europe, SSQ extracts its Del Carmen slate from an ancient sequence of Ordovician strata laid between 505 and 438 million years ago. SSQ’s Argentine-extracted Riverstone natural slate was formed within an even older Pre-Cambrian rock sequence, with formation dated from over 640 million years ago.

how slate enhancing architecture

Slate enhances both traditional and contemporary architecture

This time-tested quality gives natural slate its feel of solid security. Slate enhances both traditional and contemporary architecture. Architects enjoy working with it not just for its astonishing performance as a cladding and roofing product, but also because of its intrinsic design qualities. A slate roof looks as good on a brick or stone structure as it does over timber and glass. Split by hand into durable, individual tiles, correctly installed courses of slate also require no further maintenance once they are up on the roof.

For further information on how Natural Slate could be suitable for your project, get in touch here with your enquiry.