Clay pan tiles have been a popular roofing material in the UK for centuries, and their popularity shows no signs of waning. These tiles are made from natural clay that is moulded and fired to create a durable, weather-resistant roofing material. In this blog, we’ll explore the history and evolution of clay pan tiles in the UK, from their origins to the present day.
Origins of Clay Pan Tiles
The use of clay as a roofing material can be traced back to ancient times, but it wasn’t until the 12th century that clay pan tiles were first used in the UK. The earliest examples of clay pan tiles were made by hand, using a process that involved moulding the clay into a pan shape and firing it in a kiln. These early tiles were small and irregular in shape, but they were still an improvement over earlier roofing materials like thatch.
Evolution of Clay Pan Tiles
Over time, the process of making clay pan tiles became more refined, and the tiles themselves became larger and more uniform in shape. By the 16th century, clay pan tiles had become a common roofing material in many parts of the UK, particularly in areas with abundant supplies of clay. In the 18th and 19th centuries, advances in technology and transportation made it easier to produce and transport clay pan tiles, and their popularity continued to grow.
One of the most significant developments in the evolution of clay pan tiles was the introduction of interlocking tiles in the early 20th century. Interlocking tiles are designed to fit together tightly, creating a more watertight seal than traditional pan tiles. This innovation made clay pan tiles an even more attractive roofing material, and they continue to be popular to this day.
Modern Clay Pan Tiles
Today, clay pan tiles are still a popular roofing material, and they are available in a wide range of styles and colours to suit any architectural style. Many manufacturers now use automated processes to produce clay pan tiles, which allows for greater consistency and efficiency in the production process. In addition, new technologies like computer-aided design and 3D printing are being used to create increasingly complex and intricate clay pan tiles.
Despite these advances, the basic process of making clay pan tiles remains largely unchanged. The clay is still moulded into a pan shape and fired in a kiln, resulting in a durable and long-lasting roofing material that can withstand even the harshest weather conditions.
The history and evolution of clay pan tiles is a testament to the enduring popularity and durability of this roofing material and we are proud to supply clay roof tiles that are still handmade using traditional methods that stand the test of time for generations to come!