A gothic church transformed into luxury apartments with a new HEAVY 3 roof

Since at least 2014, the Victorian Gothic Church stood empty and neglected. Constructed in 1872 and classified as a Category C Listed building, its revival has been nothing short of remarkable.

victorian gothic church

Today, this historic structure in Monifeth (Scotland) has been reborn as four exquisite luxury apartments, thanks in no small part to the pivotal role played by our HEAVY 3 natural slate.

J&T Empire Ltd. Building contractors bought the building and hire Jon Frullani Architect Ltd to lead the church’s transformation. The objective was clear: preserve its distinctive architectural elements, including the iconic round bell tower, Tudor arch-styled windows, and internal Gothic arches, while seamlessly integrating modern amenities fit for the 21st century.

The architects were concerned about finding a suitable replacement for the original Welsh slate roof. They considered sourcing a new batch of second-hand Welsh slate, but this option was quickly discarded as it was impossible to guarantee the quality of the slate.

heavy 3 natural slate roof

Douglas Sturrock, Director at John Frullani, commented:

Keeping the church’s original features – including the roof – was pivotal to the success of this project, given its listed status.

After speaking with our local representative, they specified our HEAVY 3, which is widely considered to be the ideal natural roofing slate for many sensitive heritage projects in Scotland due to its resemblance to the Scottish Ballachulish.

Douglas Sturrock explained:

We wanted to ensure that any new materials brought onto the site were as close a match as possible to the original building materials. The character and appearance of the HEAVY 3 matched the character profile of the existing slate perfectly.

church in Monifeth

Duncan McLean from McLean Roofing, the contractor on the project, had worked previously many times with our natural slates. He stressed that:

We always recommend CUPA PIZARRAS slate when a product selection hasn’t yet been made, so I was pleased that the architect had already specified HEAVY 3 slate in this case.

What Duncan McLean likes the most about this slate is that “it’s easy to cut and install, it’s also consistent in terms of thickness and shape”.  In this project, our HEAVY 3 slate has helped to preserve the church’s original Gothic features while seamlessly connecting the building with modernity.

A team of five contractors from McLean Roofing installed the roof over a period of two months, fixing the slates to sarking board – as is traditional in Scotland – in diminishing courses using copper nails.

gothic church in Scotland

The process was simple despite the T-shaped church roof’s unusually long length and broad depth of pitch. The trickiest element of the installation was the church towers’ steep turret roof, which required a significant number of courses.

Marc Jackson, joint Managing Director of J&T Empire, commented:

When we first started working on the building some of the locals had mixed feelings about the conversion. It wasn’t until we were nearing the completion that everyone started to notice the building being brought back to its former glory. Some people were stopping and taking pictures. We are delighted with the finished results.

icon help

If you’re considering incorporating HEAVY 3 slate into your upcoming project, we’re here to assist you. Please fill out the form below, and our team will get in touch with you promptly.