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Northamptonshire Slate Mine Reopens After Five Decades

16th January 2017 by in category blog tagged as , , , , , , with 0 and 1


Collyweston slate mine reopening integral to restoration of roof on Bodley’s Court in Cambridge, and listed buildings within locality

Bodley's Court, Kings College, Cambridge - geograph.org.uk - 849323.jpg

Bodley’s Court, Cambridge: with the roof tiles made from Collyweston slate, the restoration of its roof will be boosted thanks to the mine’s reopening.

After a gap of five decades, the Collyweston slate mine is set to reopen this year. Claude N. Smith, a Northamptonshire-based roofing company decided to reopen the mine in 2015. This year’s return to production isn’t only of historical significance. It will also address a shortage of slate tiles which is detrimental to our industry.

The reopened mine will see the extraction of 2,000 tonnes of Collyweston slate over a ten-year period. Which is 200 tonnes per annum. Collyweston slate has been mined in the Northamptonshire village since the Roman times. In 1895, it was used for the roof of Bodley’s Court in King’s College, Cambridge.

As well as the University of Cambridge’s restoration work, Collyweston slate will also be used on listed buildings in Northamptonshire and surrounding area. In spite of objections raised by residents and the village’s Parish Council, Northamptonshire County Council gave the plans the green light. The mine’s reopening also attracted the attention of ITV Anglia’s new service with a video clip.

In addition to addressing a slate shortage, Claude N. Smith’s reopening will also keep alive traditional skills. Which is, in their locality, similar to why Cumbria Roofing chose to specialise in Cumbrian slate roofing.

Cumbria Roofing, 16 January 2017.

Bodley’s Court image by Peter Church, 2008 (Creative Commons License: Attribution-Share Alike).

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