Slate Roofing Was first used in Wales for the eight towers of Conwy Castle in 1283. By the late 1700′s Welsh slate roofing quarries were exporting over 450,000 tons of roofing slate.
The Roofing Slate was cut into various sizes which were given names by the quarrymen, Some of the Names given to roofing slate included: Queen, Princess, Duchess, Marchioness, Countess, Viscountess, Wide Lady, Broad Lady, Lady, Small Lady, Narrow Lady, Header, Small Header, Double, and Single.
When an old judge named Leycester made a visit to the roofing slate quarries he was obviously quite entertained by the names the slate roofing quarrymen had come up with for the various sizes of roofing slate. His entertainment with the names they chose for their roofing slate is embodied by the poem he wrote regarding it, it’s possibly the funniest thing that has ever been written regarding roofing, or slate roofing at least.
It has truly been said, as we all must deplore,
That Grenville and Pitt have made peers by the score,
But now,’tis asserted, unless I have blundered,
There’s a man that makes peeresses here by the hundred.
He regards neither Portland, nor Brenvill, nor Pitt,
But creates them at once without patent or writ;
By the stroke of a hammer, without the King’s aid
A lady, a countess, or duchess is made.
Yet high is the station from which they are sent,
And all their great titles are got by descent;
And wher’re they’re seen, in a palace or shop,
Their rank they preserve, and are still at the top.
Yet no merit they claim for their birth or connection,
But derive their chief worth from their native complexion,
And all the best judges prefer, it is said,
A countess in blue to a duchess in red.
This countess or lady though crowds may be present,
Submits to be dressed by the hands of a peasant,
And you’ll see, when her grace is but once in his clutches,
With how little respect he will handle a duchess.
Close united they seem, and yet all who have tried’em
Soon discover how easy it is to divide’em.
No spirit have they – they’re as thin as a rat;
The countess wants life and the duchess is flat;
No passion or warmth to the countess is known,
And her grace is as cold and as hard as a stone;
Yet I fear you will find, if you watch them a little,
That the countess is fail, and the duchess is brittle.
Too high for a trade, yet without any joke,
Though they never are bankrupt, they often are broke,
And though not a soul ever pilfers or cozens,
They’re daily shipped off and transported by dozens.