Tudor – leading the revival of handmade Peg and Plain Tiles

Tudor – leading the revival of handmade Peg and Plain Tiles

Tudor Roof Tile Co Ltd is one of the last remaining independent and truly English manufacturers of plain clay roof tiles in country, located on the Romney Marsh in Kent.

I spoke to Managing Director Paul Lythgoe to find out more about the company’s handmade tiles and why they are proving so popular.

– Grace Lewis, Editor for Barbour Product Search.

Q: Why are your hand made tiles so popular?

A: Traditional looking handmade plain and peg tiles have a timeless appeal. They have never really gone out of fashion. With their subtle variation in texture, camber and colour and ‘olde world’ appearance, our handmade tiles can enhance any building, whether it’s a period property renovation or a modern new build.

Tudor Roof Tiles

Q: How far back do clay tiles go?

Tudor Roof Tiles A: Clay tiles have been made in various parts of the world as far back as the Romans, ancient Egyptians, Chinese and Babylonians. As far as we know, classic English peg tiles go back as far as the 12th and 13th centuries, when they would have been seen on most historic country houses, churches, barns and farm buildings across Southern England. They were called ‘peg tiles’, because they were originally attached to the battens by wooden pegs.

Q: Does Tudor still use traditional manufacturing methods?

Tudor Roof Tiles A: Yes, in so far as is practical in today’s market. All our tiles are made from traditional English clay, which is hand pressed, moulded and trimmed in order to recreate the idiosyncrasies of the original sand faced peg tiles. However, we do use modern firing techniques and a new energy efficient kiln to ensure exceptional performance and durability that exceeds British Standards.

In fact, our peg tiles can be made with the traditional square or round peg holes, as well as with the more modern nibs on the underside. That way, they are suitable for both traditional and modern roofing construction methods.

Q: Are your roof tiles specified in listed buildings?

A: Yes, very much so. Our ‘conservation range’ in particular, which has a more gentle camber, has been specified on a number of listed buildings as a ‘like for like’ replacement. We can also offer a plain clay (no sand) facing when required. Old peg tiled roofs are constantly falling into disrepair and, these days, there is greater recognition of the importance of preserving our historic buildings with sustainable and visually sympathetic materials. This - along with the shortage (and therefore expensive) ‘reclaimed’ second hand tiles - has resulted in renewed interest in our tiles from architects and conservationists.

Tudor Roof Tiles

Q: What are the advantages of handmade over machine made tiles?

A: The rustic character and ‘olde world’ appearance of a traditional Kent Peg is virtually impossible to replicate using modern manufacturing methods, as the majority of mass-produced ‘machine made’ clay roof tiles have a dull, flat and very uniform appearance.

For anyone wanting to create a roof, which is either historically authentic, or simply unique, vibrant and full of character, handmade plain tiles will always be the best option!

Tudor Roof Tiles

Q: How has Tudor adapted its products to suit today’s market?

A: Tudor offers two core ranges. The ‘conservation range’, of Peg and Oast tiles, which is made with less pronounced camber in keeping with original Kent Peg Tiles, is ideally suited to historic and period buildings. Then, we have our ‘Traditional range’, which has a very attractive double camber, which has a broader appeal.

We also offer a wide range of matching ornamental tiles and accessories, including specialist bat access tiles, and a unique under tile ventilation system, which is invisible above the roof.

Just recently, we have introduced the new ‘Jubilee tile’, which is a twice sand faced plain tile with a rich earthy face colour and a much greater blend of natural face colourings and shades which is proving popular.

Tudor Roof Tiles

Q: Is there a secret to Tudor’s continued success?

A: The basis of our success has been in staying close to our roots as a high quality traditional English manufacturer. As such, we combine the best of both traditional and modern tile making techniques in order to create classic, time weathered ‘olde world’ looking tiles that suit the English architectural landscape like no other.

More and more discerning planners and conservationists are specifying our handmade clay tiles, and they are being used to add value and individuality to old and new properties across the country.

Further Information
For more information, call 01797 320202, email: info@tudorrooftiles.co.uk or log onto www.tudorrooftiles.co.uk.

Add to Project Board

Create a new project board:

Related Blog Articles