Valentia Slate Quarry was first opened in 1816 to supply slates mainly for roofing and flooring. It also supplied gravestones to all the local cemeteries and because of the excellent quality of the slate (non-porous with no impurities), these memorials can still be seen today as perfect as the day they were erected as far back as the 1820’s. When the great municipal buildings were being erected in London in the mid-19th century, Valentia Slate was used extensively. These included the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and Cathedral, St Paul’s Cathedral and many of the Underground Railways such as Waterloo, Charing Cross, Liverpool St., Black Friars. It was also used in the Paris Opera House. George Magnus became a shareholder in the Quarry and he set up an enamelling business in London and one of his finest products was white enamelled Valentia Slate Billiard Tables.
Today the Quarry produces a fine range of quality products. These include floor tiles, counter tops, window sills, fire surrounds, vanity units, shower trays, bath surrounds, ornamental furniture, garden furniture, steps, stairs, bar counters, name plates, grave surrounds and memorials, building stone and many other products.
Since reopening, Valentia Slate has been expanding and is now a favourite by many architects who come back year after year. As Valentia Slate Ltd. mostly sell directly from the quarry and has no sales people on the road, it is often said that Valentia Slate is Ireland’s best kept secret! Some of its bigger projects include EU Food and Veterinary Headquarters in Co. Meath; Irish Veterinary Laboratory Headquarters at Drumshambo, Co. Leitrim; National State Laboratory at Celbridge, Co. Kildare; Gleneagle Hotel, Killarney; Sheen Falls Hotel, Kenmare; The Marine Institute in Galway; Kerry Group, Naas, Co. Kildare and many more.