The most common ridges on old roofs are cut from stone or a clay ridge tiles.  But in the West Country, Wales and Cumbria it is still possible to find more ancient types of ridges formed by interlocking or over-lapping roofing slates or stones.  Ridges and hips are also machined out of slate slabs.

Pembrokeshire wrestler ridge

Cornish weather ridge

Carboniferous sandstone Yorkshire

Pembrokeshire wrestler

Wrestler ridge in Ambleside Cumbria

Wrestlers are made by notching slates or stones and interlocking them over the the top slating.  On lighter-weight slates mortar is laid into the open top to lock the two halves together.  Heavier stone wrestlers often don’t have mortar along their tops.  As far as I know they are simply bedded on and not nailed or pegged.

It is very important to keep the butt joints of the ridges off-set from the perp joints of the slating. In the stone ridge shown below this hasn’t been done and it will leak.

Unlike wrestlers, on weather ridges all the slates on one side overlap those other with the overhang on the lee-ward side.  In Cornish examples a tongue is cut into the lee-side slate and pushed through a slot on the other and pinned in place.  The pin is covered with a dab of mortar.



Weather ridges

Cornish weather ridge Tintagel

Wing and roll ridges are machined out of slate slabs in either two or three pieces.  The roll top is loose in the three piece but is part of one wing in the two piece.  They often had a slot machined into the roll to receive a decorative crest.

Wing and roll slate ridges

Two piece wing and roll

Decorative crests and roll hip

Pennant sandstone in St Fagans museum