Listed Building Maintenance - Roof Coverings

Part of: Listed Buildings - Repair and Maintenance

There are three main types of roof covering materials used on listed buildings in Northern Ireland - natural slate, thatch and metal sheet (usually lead, but sometimes corrugated tin).

Original materials and methods of fixing should be respected and fibre cement slates and concrete tiles should not be used in repairs.


Thatched buildings are an integral part of our vernacular heritage. Since the 1950s an estimated 15,000 thatched buildings have been lost and today only 144 examples with an uncovered thatch roof are known to remain.

As an increasingly scarce feature of our landscape, the Department is committed to encouraging the retention of traditional thatched buildings through priority grant-aid.

Listed buildings with thatch under a tin roof are included in this category.

Guidance on Roofs

Further Information

For additional technical guidance please visit the Historic Environment Toolkit.

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