Previous Index Next
Page 192
(previous) (Page 000192) (next)
 
r78 SLATED ROOFS [cu

by-industry, for building stones were obtained 'from the quarries as
well as slates, and he supposed that the quarrymen, when the
demand for building stone was slack, employed their time in
splitting, dressing, and boring such stone as was available for slates.

The \Velsh slates at the present time can be procured in a
number of stock sizes, which are named after the titles of ladies of
the aristocracy; these names are quite recent, having been adopted
about the year 17 50; they are said to have been given by General
VVarburton, the proprietor of some large quarries in North Wales.
Mr Guy Dawber has shown that the Cotswold slaters also distin-
guish the various sizes of the local stone slates by difi'erent names,
which are not the same as those of the Welsh slates. The Cotswold
names, although quaint, do not seem to bear evidence of any great
antiquity‘.

R. Holme, in his Acacia/12y ofArmory published in the year 1688,
gave the contemporary names of slates ‘according to their Several
Lengths’ as follows: Short Haghattee, Long Haghattee, Farwells,‘
Chilts, Warnetts, Shorts, Shorts save one or Short so won, Short
Backs, Long Backs, Batchlers, Wivetts, Short Twelves, Long
Twelves, Jenny why Gettest thou, Rogue why Winkest thou. The
shortest slate was about four inches, and the others increased in
length by inches, ‘sometimes less or more as the workman
pleaseth.’

In South Yorkshire there has been a tendency to gradually
increase the size of the stone slates, and the writer only knows of
one roof, now very dilapidated, with small old slates as previously
illustrated and described from Wales. The nature of the stone
from which the Cotswold slates are made prevented the increase
in size which took place in Yorkshire and elsewhere.

The material progress of the past century was unhappily
accompanied by a progressive decline in the artistic appearance of
the ordinary or vernacular buildings—a decline which is still pro-
ceeding, and from which the roofing materials have not escaped.
The appearance of a modern roof of Welsh slates, rigid, flat,
and uninteresting, will not bear comparison with one of the older
South Yorkshire roofs of ‘grey slates.’ The colours—greys and
browns in rich variety—to which the stone slates weather are in
harmony, unlike the \Velsh slates, with the stonework of the
buildings, with the rough stone walls of the patterned fields, and

1 Old Collages, Envy/mum, ctr. in Me Colnuo/d Dish-id, p. 46.

Previous Index Next