At the front of the property we live upstairs, over the barns. If you go round the back though, you’ll find that we live at ground level. So, if you walk out of the back door and round to the front door, you then need to climb the stairs to get back where you started from. This circuit can put parts of the various roofs that cover the different sections of the building at eye level. Depending on which door you are using to enter or leave, the patterns of the slate roofing tiles are are like a kaleidoscope that moves round in the corner of your eye as you walk past.
Slate, most likely for roofing tiles, has been mined or quarried in The Lake District for ever. Probably going back way before the Romans. The biggest problem of course, was getting it from the mine or quarry to somewhere from which it could be transported to somewhere useful. This meant – until people took transport seriously enough – the odd mule-full was the best you could expect. We always take visitors from ‘down south’ up over the Honister Pass and past The Honister Slate Mine, if we possibly can – and it’s a difficult enough road even in a modern car.
Slate roofing tiles come in various sizes, such as, Countesses, Duchesses, Princesses, Wide Ladies, Narrow Princesses, Narrow Ladies and these shown here. They are, at a guess, based on a quick dash outside in the rain to take a few measurements, Broad Ladies.
I like to think that they are not just broad ladies but also broad minded ladies.