LBS are the sole Irish distributor for Welsh Slate, which includes the famous Penrhyn 'Bangor Blue' roofing slate, recognized globally as being the best quality natural slate in the world. Indeed it still the slate of choice for churches, landmark buildings and prestige homes.
The origins of the slate industry go back as far as the 2nd century AD when the Romans used 'heather-blue' slates (possibly Penrhyn) to roof the fort at Segontium (modern Caernarfon). Blessed with a natural rich geological resource of hundreds of slate quarries throughout the region, slate activity North Wales grew steadily as time progressed.
However, it was not until the Industrial Revolution in the latter part of the 19th century when the slate industry in North Wales reached its peak. The building boom which accompanied the Industrial Revolution brought with it an unprecedented demand for slates to roof the houses and factories, and major quarry operations like Penrhyn, Dinworig, the Ffestiniog quarries and the Nantile valley dominated the world's slate production. During this period, the slate industry in north Wales employed over 10,000 workers.
And it was not just the home markets of Ireland and Britain which were dominated by Welsh Slate. Slates from Wales were exported all over Europe (France, Germany, Holland, Belgium), and further afield to countries like Australia and New Zealand.
Sadly, at the turn of the 20th century, the industry started to decline with the emergence of man-made roofing products and cheaper imports from overseas. However, to this day, Welsh Slate still commands a place at the very pinnacle of the slate world, and it is unrivalled in terms of its quality.
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