The Radcliffe Red List of Endangered Crafts

 

Slating

 

The cutting of slates for use in roofing, and the associated skills of fixing the slates to the roof.

 

Status Endangered
Craft category  Stone; Building crafts
Historic area of significance
Area currently practised
Origin in the UK
Minimum no. of craftspeople required
Current no. of trainees  Unknown (data not available)
Current no. of skilled craftspeople  Unknown (data not available)
Current total no. of craftspeople  Unknown (data not available)

 

History

 

Techniques

 

Local forms

Vernacular slating techniques are highly regionalised, depending on the local stone.

 

Sub-crafts

  • Cutting/riving slate: the craft of cutting slates, usually in the quarry, for use in roofing
  • Fixing slate: the skills associated with fixing slates to the roof. A particularly skilled area is the fixing of receding courses where large slates are fixed to the bottom of the roof and smaller slates fixed to the top

 

Issues affecting the viability of the craft

  • Vernacular slating techniques are highly regionalised, and the viability of the craft varies depending on the slate or stone type, and hence depends on the region.
  • The protection/conservation for vernacular slating styles and techniques vary across the country, and in some places they are discarded and substituted with modern slating.

 

Support organisations

  • Historic England – for Grade I and II* listed buildings where grants are involved
  • Cadw – for Grade I and II* listed buildings where grants are involved
  • Historic Scotland – for Grade I and II* listed buildings where grants are involved

 

Craftspeople currently known

 

Other information

Status: The endangeredness of slating depends on the region. Vernacular slating techniques are highly regionalised, and the viability of the craft varies depending on the slate or stone type, and hence depends on the region. In Wales and southwest England, for example, vernacular slating is critically endangered because vernacular techniques are not understood and are simply discarded and substituted with modern slating. In the Cotswolds, by contrast, there are many roofers who can produce authentic limestone slating because it isn’t possible to substitute other slating methods.

 

References