Saw tooth north light roofs are ubiquitous on textile mill weaving sheds, and can sometimes be found atop the multi storey spinning mills as well. It’s unusual to be able to look down on one from the ground though, but the local topography was on my side here.
I’ve never really had the chance to study them close up before, and I’d never realised that slates were used. I’d never given much thought to it in all honesty, but given its near universal use as a roofing material in Victorian times, it seems obvious really with hindsight.
There’s something symbolic about the repetitive nature of the repeating pattern. Repetition is what mass production is all about, and the textile industry was one of the first proponents of repeatable, mass production. Interestingly, this mantle was taken up by Henry Ford who took car production from being a virtual cottage industry to a highly mechanised, highly efficient manufacturing industry that changed the world, in the same way that the innovations of the textile pioneers such as Arkwright, Crompton, et al, enabled the textile industry to move from a (genuine) cottage industry to a highly mechanised, highly efficient manufacturing industry that changed the world.