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THE BEAUTY OF WELSH SLATE
Here at Stone Sign, we are very familiar with the undeniable beauty of quality Welsh Slate. One of our most popular materials, Welsh Slate is a versatile choice for both interior and exterior uses.
It is well-loved worldwide thanks to its appearance and quality and is considered to be the superior choice when choosing a slate variety.
Welsh Slate has been quarried in the valleys of North Wales for over 1,800 years. As far back as Roman times, it has been used for a variety of architectural accomplishments including the Roman fort in Segontium in Caernarfon, and in Edward I’s castle at Conwy. The demand for Welsh Slate surged during the Industrial Revolution, when it became a popular choice for roofing.
By the 1890s, the industry had a huge impact on global architecture and was producing over 450,000 tonnes per year. More than four-fifths of all British slate was produced in Wales at this time. Welsh Slate was used on buildings across the world, including Westminster Hall, King’s Cross Station, the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne, and Copenhagen City Hall.
However, the industry was hit by a depression in the early 1900s which led to the closure of many quarries and a decline in production over the 20th Century.
Today, although still a hugely popular choice, Welsh Slate quarrying takes place on a much smaller scale. New sources of slate have come into production, but none have come close to the beauty and performance of that from the North Wales quarries.
In 2019, Welsh Slate was designated by the International Union of Geological Sciences as a ‘Global Heritage Stone Resource’, in recognition of its significant contribution to world architectural heritage.
All slate is formed from shale or mudstone that has been exposed to increased temperature and pressure. Over vast periods of time, the makeup of this material is altered, and thin banding begins to develop within the rock. Welsh Slate has a distinctive geological formation that results in its superior strength and also allows it to be split more thinly than other materials.
The popularity of Welsh Slate is attributed to its light, long-lasting and impermeable properties. Suitable for a variety of purposes, Slate sourced in Wales is unique in its formation. It is unaffected by normal extremes of temperature and weather and is highly resistant to most chemicals. A quality investment; it is a premier, exceptionally durable material that is made to last.
Welsh Slate typically varies from shades of black and grey through to subtle purples and greens, and the texture can differ drastically. It is these unique finishes that make it such a desirable choice for house signs. There is no better way to create a truly one-of-a-kind custom plaque than using quality slate from the heart of Wales.
The versatility of Welsh Slate allows us to create a wide variety of engraving and painting options, including embossing and hand cut rustic edging on our plaques.
At Stone Sign, we have years of experience working with natural materials and can offer a wide range of custom slate and stone products. From small bespoke house signs to grand commemorative plaques and boulders, our capabilities with Welsh Slate are never-ending. Contact our friendly team today to find out more.