Valentia Slate Receives Prestigious International Heritage Stone Status

Valentia Slate, an Irish natural stone, awarded prestigious 'International Union of Geological Sciences Heritage Stone' status, highlighting its historical significance and sustainable extraction practices.

author-image
Emmanuel Abara Benson
Updated On
New Update
Valentia Slate Receives Prestigious International Heritage Stone Status

Valentia Slate Receives Prestigious International Heritage Stone Status

Valentia Slate, a natural stone from Valentia Island in Co Kerry, Ireland, has been awarded the prestigious status of 'International Union of Geological Sciences Heritage Stone'.

This makes Valentia Slate the second Irish stone to receive this global designation, following Connemara Marble.

The recognition is a testament to the historical significance and continued sustainable extraction of Valentia Slate. The stone has been used since at least 1816 in many landmark buildings around the world, including the floors and roofs of the House of Commons in London, Westminster Abbey, St Paul's Cathedral, and the Paris Opera House.

Valentia Slate is extracted underground by the Valentia Slate Company, which operates a zero-waste policy. The company, led by geologist Aidan Forde, has been dedicated to sustainably extracting the unique stone, which can be split into roofing slates and large slabs for a variety of domestic and commercial applications.

Why this matters: The recognition of Valentia Slate as a heritage stone highlights the importance of preserving and celebrating natural resources that have played a significant role in architectural history. It also emphasizes the value of sustainable extraction practices in the building materials industry.

The application for the global designation was led by experts from Trinity College Dublin and Carrig Conservation Consultants. "The recognition of Valentia Slate as a heritage stone is not only a testament to its historical significance but also to the hard work and dedication of the generations of South Kerry people who have worked at the quarry," said Aidan Forde, director of the Valentia Slate Company.

Valentia Slate has also played a key role in conserving and celebrating Irish history. The stone was used to create an exact copy of the 1916 Proclamation and to restore the monument to Michael Collins at Béal na Bláth. As a low-carbon building material, Valentia Slate has become part of a modern trend to use more natural stone and timber in architecture, which is better for the climate.

Key Takeaways

  • Valentia Slate from Ireland awarded 'International Union of Geological Sciences Heritage Stone'.
  • Valentia Slate used in landmark buildings worldwide since 1816, including UK Parliament.
  • Valentia Slate Company extracts the stone sustainably with a zero-waste policy.
  • Recognition highlights the importance of preserving natural resources with historical significance.
  • Valentia Slate used in conservation projects, a low-carbon building material.