All about Welsh Slate

Updated: May 6


Natural slate has been used as a roof covering for Centuries and Welsh slate is known to be one of the best available, leading to its exportation Worldwide. Its natural, lightly rivened finish and variation in colour give this material an aesthetic appeal which adds character to any roof.


There are three main variations of colour, the most common being blue / grey but Welsh slate also comes in a purple hue as well. The soft purple coloured slates are referred to as ‘Heather’ and the brighter, more pink coloured slates are known as ‘Blush’.


A number of different sizes are produced. Traditionally, each of these would have names such as ‘Duchess’ (24”x 12”), ‘Countess’ (20” x 10”) or ‘Viscountess’ (18” x 9”) but are nowadays simply referred to by their size. When choosing which size slates to use for your project, consider the size of the roof elevation and suitable proportion. On larger roofs, slates of diminishing sizes are sometimes used.


Welsh slate is a highly durable choice of roof covering. It’s impermeable to extreme weather and colour fast so colouring won’t fade over time. If anything, the slates tend to weather slightly darker and pick up lichens, adding more interest. It is common for a slate roof to last well over 100 years. Quote often, it is the roof timbers that fail first leading to the need to re-roof. The majority of the slates can then be re-used, maybe for a further 100 years… The durability of this slate with infrequent re-roofing and easy maintenance make this material a cost effective choice as a roof covering.


Reclaimed slates are much sought after and at Winchcombe Reclamation we have extensive stocks including all the common sizes and some of the more unusual. We also have reclaimed Westmorland and Delabole slate come available as well as both Cotswold stone and Sandstone stone tiles. Unlike some reclaimed materials, it is still possible for us to obtain Welsh slate in vast quantities (mainly through our own demolition works) and all of our stock is hand sorted to ensure consistent quality.



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