In the heart of Cornwall, where rural cottages and contemporary retreats alike are battered by the coastal weather, roofing materials matter.
Barteliver Farm, situated within an early medieval village first recorded in 1337, is a piece of Cornish agricultural history.
When the roofs of several Grade II listed barns on the farm needed replacing, the search began for a material that would protect both the structural and historical integrity of these buildings.
In October of 2022, Ilex Construction Ltd set to work converting these historic barns into residential properties. SSQ’s exquisite phyllite product, Riverstone Ultra-grade, was chosen as the perfect material for the task.
Riverstone has previously been approved for restoration projects, so it’s no surprise that it was once again approved by local planning and conservation authorities to help revitalise these historically significant structures.
Riverstone is brought to the UK from the SSQ-owned La Repressa quarry in Argentina, but is geologically similar to the Delabole and Trevillet slate used originally on the barn roofs. Given the scarcity and price of indigenous slate, Riverstone made the perfect alternative.
With a stunning satiny “phyllitic sheen” and an extremely low water absorption, Riverstone perfectly combines style and substance.
When work began on reviving the barn roofs, the team discovered that the roofs had been previously repaired using different sizes and gauges of slate – this had done more harm than good and hastened the need for repairs.
Firstly, the existing roofing was carefully removed and the timber structure inspected and repaired.
Riverstone 500mm x 250 mm Ultra-grade tiles were then laid using a blend of modern and traditional construction techniques in a celebration of both the old and the new. The thinnest possible phyllite that still retains its superior strength, Ultra-grade Riverstone was chosen to recapture the charm of the roof’s original aesthetics while ensuring that it remains weathertight in even the strongest of coastal storms.
While access to the site was a challenge due to ecological concerns, the project was completed both on time and on budget.
Now fully restored, Barteliver Farm’s Grade II listed barns stand proudly in the Cornish countryside. SSQ’s 100-year guarantee will ensure that these historic buildings remain protected from the elements for decades to come.
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