Slate

Contributed by Cornwall Museums

THIS OBJECT IS PART OF THE PROJECT 'A HISTORY OF CORNWALL IN 100 OBJECTS'.

NORTH CORNWALL MUSEUM, CAMELFORD. Slate has been quarried at Delabole for hundreds of years. At its height over 500 men and boys along with a few women were employed. Specialist tools were made for quarrying, dressing and splitting the slate. Over the years slate was used not only for roofing and building but also for domestic items such as pastry boards and rolling pins. In its powder form EMI and Decca used it in the production of 78 LPs until Vinyl replaced it. Slate and its products were sent around the world and the Delabole Slate Quarry is still the main employer today.

Recommended reading: Delabole, the History of the Slate Quarry and the Making of its Village Community, by Catherine Lorrigan (Pengelly Press, 2007).

Photo: Bernie Pettersen

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Cornwall, Delabole

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