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seventeenth and eighteenth century buildings of the district were
thatched, but from the ruins of old houses which have been
excavated 'and dated it appears that slating was not uncommon,
though before the eighteenth century the ‘riving,’ or splitting of
the metal, had not reached its modern standardl. The early users
were content with slates from the outcrop, and did not quarry for

The oldest Welsh slates that the writer has seen on buildings
in North Wales are thick and small, like the smallest sized West-
‘morlands used towards the ridge in random slating. The illustration
(Fig. 54) shows this kind of slating on an old building at Criccieth,
Carnarvonshire, and it also shows a local form of old rubble walling.
The slates were fixed with oaken pegs. In the 01d Cottages of
Snowdom'a, Messrs Hughes and North state that they have found
that the earliest slates in that district have an average size of 5 in.
by 10in. They had a peg hole in the middle of the head, that
is, the top of the slate, by which they were hooked to the wattling2.
The writer finds that the little old Welsh slates used on some of
the Cambridge colleges are known locally as ‘ rag slates.’

In the year 1688, according to R. Holme, the slater’s tools were
as follows: Hatchet, Trowel, Hewing Knife, Pick to Hole, Pinning
Iron to widen the holes, Hewing Block, Lathing Measure.-and
Stone Do., and Pins, Stone Nails or Lath Nails and Lath or

Romano-British slates were of various shapes. At the station
of Caersws, and at the villa at Bisley, Gloucestershire, they were
hexagonal, which was a usual form: at Mitcheldever Wood, in
Hampshire, they were oval-shaped, and this form continued in use
until the Middle Ages. In later times the ‘tail' of the slates was
cut square, and the head left a rough oval, as VVestmorlands are at
the present day.

Professor Thorold Rogers found that the fissile stone of
Stonesfield, Oxfordshire, in the Middle Ages was made into three
sizes of slate, viz. (1) common large, (2) middling, (3) large“. He
thought that slate making in the Oxfordshire quarries was a

1 Memorial: (f Old Lamas/tire, II, p. I79.

2 The authors also describe the later developments of slating in North \Vales, in
their book.

3 The tools are described in the Academy of Armory and Blascm, p. 39 5.

4 History of Agriculture and Prices, 1, p. 42 3 and W, p. 442.

I. B. C. 12

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