|STONE SLATE NATIONAL BRIEFING
Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority Barn Conservation Project
||The barns and
dry stone walls of the Yorkshire Dales form a unique historic farmed landscape
that has evolved since at least the 17th century. The majority of the field
barns were built between 1750 and the end of the 19th century.
Barns Project Conservation
|There are 1044 field barns
in Swaledale alone and a conservative guess of the number in the whole
National Park would exceed 6000. Survey work has shown in Swaledale, Littondale
and Wensleydale that over 70% of these barns will require repair work in
the next 10 years to remain or return to being wind proof and weather tight.
It is likely that this figure is representative of the situation across
the National Park
||Grant aid projects now exist
in three dales to help farmers repair their field barns. Figures are given
below to show the scale and success of the project but in brief:
The project has
been running for a total of 9 years, has generated total of £1.77
million of conservation work and repaired over 300 field barns. Roughly
65% of that work has been on stone slate roofs.
The project started
in Swaledale in 1989 with an annual budget of £54 000. The
project has increased six fold in size, now including Littondale and Wensleydale
with a total of £300 000 available in grant aid for the 1998-9 financial
year. Funding comes from three sources; 25% from the National Park Authority,
25% from English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund, and 50 % from
the European Community Objective 5b budget.
||The scheme has important
million of conservation work has been done, the vast majority of which
is carried out by local builders and gets fed back into the local economy.
and creates a demand for traditional skills such as stone slating and dry
The National Park
Authority can dictate the use of stone slates on barns and can prevent
them being stripped and sold for profit.
||Policies on stone slates.
Stone slates in the Yorkshire Dales are in very short supply as elsewhere
with just one small quarry that produces stone slates in the National Park.
A number of policies are enforced as part of the scheme to help us manage
this scarce resource -
The use of new stone
slates is encouraged by the Authority grant aiding the difference in price
between second hand and new ones by 100%.
Where second hand
stone slates are to be used to make up a short fall, the Authority requires
authentication of their origin in order to stop the stripping of stone
slates from other buildings.
Where a barn has
very few or no stone slates left on it, the Authority will grant aid a
sheet roof going back on at a lower rate. This is seen as a temporary solution
which will keep the barn wind and weather proof until such time as stone
slates are in adequate supply. The whole roof structure is kept in situ
and repaired as part of this process.
||Y, EH, L
||Y, EH, L
|Swaledale since 1989
||Y = Yorkshire Dales National
|Littondale since 1994
||EH = English Heritage
|Wensleydale since 1996
||L = Heritage Lottery Fund
||EU 5b = European Union Objective
The Cotswolds Hills Environmentally Sensitive Areas Scheme
||This scheme is
run by the Farming and Rural Conservation Agency on behalf of the Ministry
of Agriculture and the Welsh Office. There are similar schemes in many
parts of the country and have existed for 10 years.
||The Cotswolds Hills Scheme
is four years old and covers an area about 40 miles by 10 miles. Its objectives
are to maintain and enhance the landscape and wildlife interest especially
of the traditional grassland. It includes provisions for maintenance of
drystone walls and other historic features. It is a voluntary and farmers
enter a 10 year land management agreement which includes an obligation
to maintain their historic buildings.
||Additional to the management
scheme there are capital grants which provides aid for the restoration
of historic buildings with traditional materials. These buildings must
be agricultural: neither domestic buildings nor conversions of agricultural
buildings to other uses are eligible. Initially the grant available was
for up to 40% of the capital cost but this was insufficient for most applicants.
Of 300 applications only 9 offers were taken up. Subsequently the grant
was increased to 60% and by now 50 buildings have been renovated or are
in the pipeline. This is still however, a comparatively small number out
of the 730 farms which are now members.
||There are two important
influences on how successful the capital grants scheme will be: there is
no use for these buildings within modern farming practice and the cost
of roof renovations is high. In much of the Cotswold Hills farming is a
marginal enterprise and often even with the grants it is impossible for
the farmer to afford the 40% they would have to contribute.
||Within the life of the scheme there have been four sources
of traditional stone slates:
||a good product but this
quarry is currently without suitable stone.
||these are made with a sawn
edge which is visually unacceptable.
||made locally from imported
stone. These are heavier than some local types of stone slates and consequently
cannot always be used because the roof structure cannot support their weight.
||We are very conscious that
these often come from unscrupulous or even criminal sources and try to
avoid their use.
||Tetbury sell for about £108
per square metre; the other three are all about £80. (Brockhill have
since changed the style of the edge dressing. 2002)
||Some very good imitations
are also available. The best example is made from 80 moulds so there is
a good degree of randomness and there is a high standard of edge detailing
||In reaching a decision on
what is to be used to re-roof a building we have some options. If the building
is listed, those rules apply and we always support whatever the conservation
authority decides. For unlisted buildings there is a discretion to use
other suitable building materials where these are appropriate.
||In practice we are often
faced with a dilemma. A barn for example no longer has any practical purpose
and the farmer cannot afford his share of the cost of renovations. So what
do we do? Do we watch the building fall down? Do we compromise now and
permit the use of a cheap imitation in the hope that one day it will be
possible to roof it with real stone slates. Or do we encourage the conversion
of the building with all the landscape implications of the introduction
of gardens and Leylandii hedges?
Collyweston & The South Pennines
Charles Wagner English Heritage
|In November 1996 the Roofs
of England campaign was launched at Wirksworth in Derbyshire. This case
study will look at what has happened since in two regions - Collyweston
and the South Pennines.
|The Collyweston Stone Slaters
Trust has been in existence since 1982. Although little progress has been
made in establishing a source of Collyweston stone slates the Trust did
halt the decline and prevented the complete disappearance of this important
||The only source of new slates
since that time has been thanks to David Ellis who, in 1982 realised that
Cuckoo Lodge quarry at Duddington, which was being operated for construction
aggregates, was working in the stone slate beds. Thanks to the willingness
of the operators Bullimoores to allow David Ellis to remove log for splitting
there has been a supply of new Collywestons for renovation work. Two other
sources still exist; the Burleigh Pit at Easton on the Hill and Claude
Smiths Pit at Collyweston.
||In 1996 Listed Building
Consent was sought to reroof the rear slopes of 20/21 St George's Square
Stamford, a grade II* listed building, with imitation stone slates and
the surplus stone slates should be used on other buildings. English heritage
recommended that all the slopes should be covered with real Collywestons.
||During negotiations it became
apparent that the four County Councils; Lincolnshire; Leicestershire; Cambridgeshire
and Northamptonshire and the six District Councils were all working to
different standards for Collyweston roof conservation. This prompted the
convening of a seminar in Stamford to exchange information on such issues
as; how are roofs protected on unlisted buildings; what conditions are
applied to grant aided re-roofing; what was being done to check the provenance
of second-hand stone slates; where are roofs being lost?
||At this time a further complication
in the supply situation arose when an order was placed for new Collyweston
slates to roof an extension to the Guildhall, London. This effectively
took all the available new slates for the duration of the contract. There
was local pressure to try to prevent this but as David Ellis pointed out
log was being crushed at Cuckoo Lodge quarry and there was nothing preventing
anyone from making new slates if they needed them.
||In 1997 a Collyweston Conference
was held at Burliegh House and at this time John Picken proposed a joint
investigation with his Stonesfield project to investigate the frosting
||In 1997 101 tonnes of log
were removed from Bullimoore's quarry for splitting and a further 21 tonnes
to March 1998. Whilst this was going on Adam Farnsworth has compiled a
list of everyone who has been involved with Collyweston slates in the past.
From this all roofers and builders have been informed of the availability
of log and five roofers or builders have taken samples for trials and another
three have shown interest. Bullimoores have very generously offered to
bury and store log to be taken as required.
||During the last few months
Chris Harris's Completely Stoned Company has taken log from underground
with Rupert Farnsworth. This has gone to Sheffield Hallam University for
||In spite of the slowly improving
supply situation there was still no example of a new Collyweston roof in
the region. The opportunity presented at Ashton Village near Oundle where
an English Heritage / Northamptonshire CC Conservation Area Partnership
Scheme used new Collywestons. This is now nearing completion by David Ellis
and Shaun Cummings.
|When the work in the South
Pennines was started it was against a background of no production, no entrepreneurs
willing to try quarrying and a rapidly drying up supply of second-hand
stone slates. In fact, most second-hand were coming from Yorkshire and
were not appropriate for use in the region.
||At that time Unthank Hall
near Freebirch was being re-roofed and it was realised just what an impact
such schemes would have were they to depend on second-hand slates. Several
buildings would have had to be robbed to supply this scheme alone.
||Since the publication of
the South Pennine study public interest in quarrying has gradually improved.
By the launch of the Roofs of England Campaign in 1996 one quarry at Fullwood
Booth near Sheffield was able to supply riven stone for finishing by a
local roofing contractor, Sellors of Bakewell, and other quarries are being
actively investigated at Holmfirth, Reeve Edge, Wingerworth, Eyam Edge
and Brampton/Freebirch. Other quarries at Kerridge have attempted stone
slate production with mixed success.
||This is encouraging, but
actual production is still no further forward and at best it is unlikely
that new supplies will come on line before late 1998 or early 1999. This
has left some projects in a delicate situation. At Bubnell Hall, following
an unsuccessful Listed Building Consent Application the owner has an enforcement
notice hanging over him which he cannot discharge because no-one can supply
the necessary stone slates yet. A recently established Heritage Lottery
funded Conservation Area Partnership Scheme in the Wye Valley will need
careful management to align the supply with demand. This scheme which includes
all roofs in need of repair and all which are known to have lost their
stone roof in recent years will provide 40% grants for partial and 60%
for complete re-roofing.