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Unique slate mine re-opening leads to roof of the year award

2 mins

NFRC UK Roofing Awards 2020 Winner

Award Category

Heritage Roofing


Roof of the Year


Claude N Smith Ltd


Bodley Court, Kings College

Award sponsor

SIG Roofing

SIG Roofing logo

The roof of Bodley Court, a Fellows accommodation building built around 1890, was in urgent need of replacement. Covering 1,500 m², the existing roof material was
Collyweston slate and was original to the build. The aim was that the new roof would last well over another 100 years without the need for regular and continuous maintenance.

Because reclaimed Collyweston slates are now in very short supply, the challenge was
to re-open the only Collyweston slate mine in the world to achieve this.

Before any work could begin, the roof had to be surveyed for bat activity as bats like
to roost under the front edge of the slates where the mortar is missing. This gives them a snug roost for the day. In consultation with Natural England a mitigation programme was put in place so bats could continue to thrive in this roof.

Bodley Court roof detail

Roof of the Year 2020

Judges unanimous in their decision to award Bodley Court as Roof of the Year

Bob Richardson, Head of Technical and Training at NFRC said:

This project was unanimously chosen as roof of the year. The sheer scale of the planning leading to the completion of what can only be classed as a labour of love by skilled craftsmen, resulted in a remarkable re-roofing project—from the initial discussions between the client and the contractor commencing five years before the start date; to the planning application that was required to re-open the mine to source the materials required, which took two years to receive approval; through to the three apprentices worked solely on this project from start to finish, giving them valuable experience and keeping the traditional skill of Collyweston slating alive.

From conception, if any singular part of the project had failed, the whole project would have been doomed to fail. It’s testament to all of the people involved that a project of this magnitude could be achieved.

Bodley Court Claude N Smith

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