Single colour slate

Single colour slate with scaling in the Queen Anne Revival The Queen Anne Revival mode led the return to single colour slate work. Queen Anne style had a little to do with Queen Anne and much to do withВ many other countries and monarchs. The style as it evolved under English architect Richard Norman Shaw and others, showed great admiration for the forms of late 17th- and early 18th-century British building with its mix of classical and medieval features and its ornamental treatment of brick, tile and other materials used by a roofer. The characteristic motifs which came to define the style such as small-paned sash windows, rubbed (decoratively shaped) and cut brick-work, and tile or half-timbered gables were seen as typically English, but it also included shaped Flemish gables, Venetian windows and Japanese-inspired interiors. The point was to blend diverse elements in an original manner to create something comfortable, delicate and graceful. The practitioners of the Queen Anne style loved rich colour but they shunned the strident Gothic combinations in favour of harmonious tones. They usually expressed tones subtly by layering materials such as a red-brick ground storey with tile-hung walls, half-timbered gables and a slate or tile roof. Loud-patterned slate roofs would merely have destroyed the natural refined impression the style was intended to convey.

The Queen Anne architects’ attention to colour also produced definite ideas regarding suitable colours for roofs. Red, the colour of the tile which was the characteristic covering for English houses, was the preferred roof colour of the English originators of the mode. J J. Stevenson, one of the few theorists of the Queen Anne style, endorsed red tile because it was “better in colour than most slates.” In his two-volume work on House Architecture (1880), Stevenson discouraged the use of Welsh slates, most of which were a “bad” purple colour but recommended Westmorland green slates as “charming in colour, being a pale sea green, which goes well with red brick or against the sky. A decade later the colour of Welsh slates was still in disrepute when William Morris, the giant of the Arts and Crafts Movement, strongly criticized “Thin Welsh Blue Slates” as akin to corrugated iron and zinc.

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