A Horsham Tile is a roof covering made from a type of sandstone with
similar characteristics to slate, i.e. can be broken along the grain
to produce tiles.
The slabs vary in size on many of the roofs we have seen from large
tiles about 18 inches by 1 ft and 1 1/4 inches thick to small ones
about 10 inches by 8 inches and 3/4 inch thick. They were produced
by a quarries which accessed the beds of Horsham sandstone.
Horsham Stone is a cretaceous sandstone found in a semi-circle from
Crawley to Horsham and south-east towards Brighton . The stone used
in a number of local roofs for many of our early buildings were
often found by digging alongside the construction, quite often
producing village duckponds.
Finally an industry providing the stone slates built up around the
Horsham Tiles are only used for roof covering, and were probably very
expensive at the time of manufacture, so there are a limited number of
buildings that we have found them on. A number of churches have them, many
only have the tiles on the lower edges of the roof, probably due to their
weight. Usually the tile size reduces as you proceed up the slope of the
roof, again indicating problems with weight.