New Canterbury handmade clay tiles the perfect match for sensitive re-roofing project in Surrey

A complex and sensitive re-roofing project in Surrey is amongst the first to use the Canterbury handmade clay tile range from Marley Eternit, which was re-introduced to the market to help architects and contractors achieve a genuine handmade finish when creating traditional clay roofs.

Built in 1928, the original handmade tiles on the private detached property at Seale Hill, in the historic town of Reigate, were still on the roof and in need of replacement. The gable tiles had been replaced by previous owners but were mismatched, so the current owners took the decision to carry out a full roof replacement, including the vertical tiling, but they wanted as close a match as possible to the original tiles. The refurbishment project also needed to be sensitive to its rural surroundings and adjacent parkland.

Project director at Brodie Plant Goddard architects, Robin Goddard commented:

“We selected handmade tiles firstly to replicate the original tiles but also to complement the style of the building and neighbouring properties. We chose the Canterbury handmade tiles from Marley Eternit because they best matched the colour blend we were looking to achieve, to replicate the 1920s traditional aesthetic. They also offered the orange colour which we needed as a vertical contrasting tile for the gable ends and being able to use both tiles from the same manufacturer gave a consistent finish.”

Antique-coloured Loxleigh Canterbury clay tiles were specified for the large 270m² roof, which was a complex design due to the interaction of multiple slopes, swept valleys and hips. Contractor Harp Construction Services was selected for the significant and complex project which took four months to complete and included fixing a temporary roof.

The owner of the property said:

“The Marley Eternit handmade tiles were shown to us as samples so we could see the colour blend for ourselves, as getting a genuine match to the original was very important to us. We hadn’t appreciated what a complex roof shape we had until we undertook this project and the contractors, Harp Construction Services, showed excellent workmanship and construction throughout the project. We are very impressed with the end result, which is sympathetic to the original, but also lifts the colour of the roof and brings it to life.”

As well as supplying samples and colour blending advice, Marley Eternit also provided specialist technical support to the architects. Robin Goddard explained: “Regulations dictated that we needed to choose between a ventilated ridge or a discrete in-line ventilation tile. The client wanted to use a traditional mortar pointed ridge and Marley Eternit, alongside Harp Construction, was able to offer specific technical advice in this area to decide on the best solution. We are very pleased with the finished product and the support provided to us by Marley Eternit before and during the course of the project.”

Marley Eternit’s range of Canterbury tiles are handmade by skilled craftsmen, using locally sourced Etruria Marl, generally accepted to be the finest clay for strength and durability. The tiles are available in three colours; Chailey (orange), Loxleigh (antique) and Burford (brown) with their own handmade fittings range.

Sarah Jackson, marketing product manager from Marley Eternit, added:

“We developed the handmade range so architects could have more choice when it comes to specifying for renovation projects like this one, where getting the right colour blend is vital. The traditional hand-making process brings random undulations and variations that give each tile its unique appearance and character, giving a beautiful distinct finish to each roof, a look which is becoming increasingly popular – not only for heritage and conservation sites but also for premium new build projects.”

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Canterbury Tile Marley Eternit Seale Hill