It was during the late Georgian and Victorian periods that Bangor Blue slates became associated with Irish architecture. During this time, many of Ireland’s most famous and prestigious structures were finished with slate imported from the Welsh Penrhyn quarry. Some famous examples include Dublin Castle and Hillsborough castle.
These days, most people favour economies of scale, and use standard sized Bangor Blue slates, which typically measure 500x300mm. However, back when structures such as Dublin castle were erected, large format Bangor Blue slates were relatively common, and custom and random sizes weren’t unusual. Many slates were as large as 24’’, 26’’ and even 36 inches in size. These large slates were given names in older days, and these included ‘Kings’, ‘Queens’, ‘Duchess’ and ‘Countess’.
Back when structures such as Hillsborough Castle were being constructed, much more primitive sawing machinery was employed to cut slate. Thus, many producers felt that cutting larger slates was more efficient and practical. In addition, because of Bangor Blue slate’s unique qualities, density and superior durability, these larger slates were every bit as sturdy as their smaller counterparts.
Large Format Slates – Heritage & Restoration Projects
Large format Bangor Blue slates aren’t just a memory from the past. These days, our quarry in Wales can replicate these large sizes. In fact, the quarry has been involved in a number of heritage and restoration projects on buildings that originally boasted large format slates, in sizes as big as 36’’. These new slates are every bit as durable and beautiful today as the original slates that were used hundreds of years ago. A recent example of a restoration project is the re-roofing of the St. Mel’s Cathedral in Longford following a fire in 2009.
If you have questions about large format Bangor Blue slates or wish to specify Welsh slate for a roofing project, it makes sense to speak to the experts. As Ireland’s leading supplier of natural slate, LBS have the expertise to advise on suitable grades and the fitting of large format slates.
For more information on large format slates, get in touch with our technical team. Click HERE
LBS are owners of the Penrhyn Bangor Blue quarry in Wales and are Ireland’s largest independent supplier of natural slate and clay roofing products. They have offices in Lisburn, Belfast, Dublin and Athy and have a friendly team of technical reps covering all 32 counties.