From cottages and barns to stately homes, many of our older buildings offer a profusion of detail that, today, would be deemed an architectural luxury.
Over the centuries, the use of roofing material has varied from place to place, with a diversity determined by local geography and material availability.
One of the most enduring and appealing of these materials was natural clay; which became desirable for its mellow appearance and weathering properties. Its popularity as a roof covering was enhanced by its unique ability to be pressed into a multitude of shapes and designs.
This enabled past designers to create an endless landscape of decorative roofs through the inclusion of ornate finials, ridges and hips. Builders in the 17–19th centuries in particular placed great emphasis on appearance and detail and strove to add character to their work.
Family homes that would be passed down through generations were often constructed to include bespoke features that reflected the occupants’ tastes or even personal wealth. Individuality within a style in keeping with the overall local vernacular was of paramount importance.