A slator or two: exploring the 17th-century slate industry at Ferryland

Spiwak, Alexa D. (2020) A slator or two: exploring the 17th-century slate industry at Ferryland. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

While the use of slate as a building material was not unheard of in the New World, the early 17th-century English colony at Ferryland, Newfoundland was unique among contemporaneous North American settlements in its large-scale use of local slate. First governed by a Welshman, the colony’s historical documents and previously undertaken archaeological investigations point to the presence of a substantial slate industry, complete with at least one quarry and a number of skilled tradesmen. Slate is ubiquitous at the colony, making it one of the most important materials used in its construction. However, very little is known about the quarry, the process used to manufacture the many thousands of roof slates used to cover the early buildings or the lives of the craftsmen that called Ferryland home. Using archaeological and ethnographic data, this project seeks to determine how 17th-century quarrying and slate working processes in Newfoundland may have deviated from those of the Old World, as well as confirming possible quarry sites proposed by previous research. Moreover, this project seeks to connect the practices of 17th-century slaters to those of the 19th and 20th centuries, when Newfoundland experienced a resurgence in both the slate quarrying industry and a Welsh cultural presence.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/14469
Item ID: 14469
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 134-142).
Keywords: historical archaeology, Ferryland, industry, quarrying, slate, archaeology
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Archaeology
Date: May 2020
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Slate industry--Newfoundland and Labrador--Ferryland--History--17th century; Building materials--Newfoundland and Labrador--Ferryland--History--17th century; Archaeology and history--Newfoundland and Labrador--Ferryland.

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