Kirkstone Provides Natural Slate for WWI Memorial

Kirkstone, the specialists in Cumbrian slate and durable, high-quality imported architectural stone, has provided its Light Sea Green and Brathay Blue Black slate for the fabrication of a new memorial to honour the nations involved in tunnelling activities during the First World War.

Erected in Givenchy, France following years of planning and fundraising, the 2m high memorial represents the actual dimensions of the confined space in which the Tunnellers worked.

The different hand worked surface finishes of Kirkstone’s Silver Green and Brathay slate also represent the end grain of the wooden timbers used by the Tunneller to represent their ‘frame and sett’ method of tunnel construction consisting of props and lintels.

Two large facia panels of honed slate built into the design are inscribed with detailed insignia, including intricate drawings and a ‘T’ cut-away to match the shoulder patches worn by those serving in the Tunnelling Companies, commemorating all those who served underground in their crucial, yet often clandestine role during the conflict.

Whilst very different to the typical uses of Kirkstone’s unique slate in large-scale commercial and residential projects for flooring, interior and exterior cladding, Kirkstone Managing Director, Nick Fecitt, believes that the quality of the business’ natural slate quarried in the Lake District is adaptable for even the most discerning application.

“We’re very proud to have supplied our material for this lasting tribute. Having worked closely with the All Party Parliamentary War Graves and Battlefields Heritage Group, we wanted to produce a memorial which honoured the extraordinary acts of bravery shown by those involved. Using our experience of working on other national monuments such as The South Atlantic Task Force Memorial, Crypt of St. Paul’s and the Clapham Junction Rail Disaster Memorial, we felt a sensitive approach using our robust and durable material would stand the test of time.”

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