Welsh Slate used on Prince’s Houses

Three show homes designed by The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community feature Welsh Slate on the roofs.

Welsh Slate from Penrhyn Quarry in North Wales was specified for the roofs of three show homes for its durability, sustainability and Britishness.

Suited to the traditional type of slate used in Scotland, more than 1,000m2 of Celtic extra-heavy grade Penrhyn Heather Blue slates were used alongside vents and vent adaptors on the roofs of The Cottage, The Baillie-Scott Home and the Vernacular Home designed by The Prince’s Founda-tion for Building Community.

Designed to demonstrate the suitability and desirability of traditional house types for modern liv-ing, they were exhibited at The Ideal Home Shows at Earls Court in London in March/April and at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre in Glasgow in May, and have now found a perma-nent home at Dumfries House in East Ayrshire where they will accommodate employees of the Dumfries House Trust.

Dumfries House and its estate were saved for the nation by HRH The Prince of Wales in 2007 when he led a consortium of organisations and individuals to stop the house and its contents from being sold at auction. Since then the charity behind Dumfries House has opened the house and es-tate to the public with widening access and facilities, creating one of the region’s most unique visi-tor attractions, and a hub of educational activity for many of The Prince’s Charities

The new houses featuring Welsh Slate will sit beside two large Oak trees (The Cottage), within a woodland clearing (The Baillie-Scott) and at the entrance to Morrisons Farm (The Vernacular), a unique joint venture between The Dumfries House Trust and Morrisons supermarket.
The Cottage is a three-bedroomed family home inspired by the traditional Scottish rural cottage, The Vernacular is a four-bedroomed house with Georgian refinements, and The Baillie-Scott takes inspiration from the influential British architect Mackay Hugh Baillie-Scott.

All three houses are built according to The Prince’s Foundation’s natural house model, which avoids complex system eco technologies by combining traditional ways with new techniques and passive technologies. Using materials such as clay, wood, lime and sheep’s wool it creates an effi-cient, sustainable shell that is warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

The Prince’s Foundation said: “The Welsh Slate used on the Prince’s Houses reflects our commit-ment to the use of lasting, sustainable British materials that not only add to the beauty of the home but also help reduce our impact on the environment.

“Welsh Slate has been used for centuries and is a very sustainable building product due to its low embodied energy. Through the use of this material we are also furthering our commitment to keeping traditional skills alive. The use of slate also means that the designs are sympathetic to the local Scottish vernacular.”

Michael Hallé, Welsh Slate’s commercial director (roofing) said: “Roofing slate from Penrhyn Quarry benefits from a number of highly practical properties and is guaranteed for a lifetime of 100 years plus. Welsh Slate has been used for hundreds of years worldwide on heritage and pres-tigious projects and as a natural product it makes the perfect choice for the Princes Foundation.”

The show houses aside, Welsh Slate has also been used to re-roof the stables and coach house and for the roofs of the laundry and newly built visitors centre.