Our friends at John Stortz & Son, a supplier of high-quality slate roofing tools, often post about unique slate work being done in Europe and other parts of the world. We will share some of these amazing projects, along with a brief history of the proud tradition of slate roofing.
1287: The first recorded slate roof is the eight towers of Conwy Castle in North Wales, England. Over several centuries, the Welsh developed a proud tradition of slate production.
1600’s: Slate roofs are introduced to colonial America in the Philadelphia and Boston regions.
1785: The first slate quarry opens in the United States in Pennsylvania.
1800’s: In Spain, the quarrying process is refined enough to allow slate to be available for roofing common homes. To this day, almost 90% of all roofing slate source from Europe is quarried in Spain.
1839: Slate deposits are discovered near Fair Haven, Vermont, although quarrying was considered impractical because there were few uses.
1867: The Buckingham Slate Company, Virginia’s only slate manufacturer, and The Roofing Company’s preferred slate supplier is founded.
Late 1800’s: After the Civil War, slate begins to be mass quarried in the United States, beginning in Pennsylvania and spreading through the Northeast.
Early 1900’s. This marks the high point for slate production in the United States.
For many centuries, slate roofing was limited to the very wealthy due to its high cost and labor-intensive installation. We are fortunate to live in a time when slate roofing is attainable for the average homeowner. One of the most highly populated residential slate roof areas locally are in Norfolk; Ghent, West Ghent, Colonial Place/Riverview, and Larchmont. The Roofing Company is proud to be among a select group of roofing companies in Hampton Roads and the United States with the specialized knowledge and expertise necessary to install this unique and beautiful roofing material.