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Pantile

- a roofing tile, traditionally clay, with a pronounced s-shaped section, in which the downturn of one hooks over the upturn of its neighbour - because there is no overlap, a pantiled roof is lighter than a tiled roof. They are found in most areas where there are clay deposits. Attempts have been made to make them in concrete but, thankfully, these have not been successful. Glass pantiles are also available. Legend has them introduced into this country as ballast in ships returning from the low countries hence they are sometimes referred to as "Flemish Tiles". They were available in Scotland from the early 1600's, and were first commercially manufactured by William Adam, father of Robert. Invariably in this country, the high scroll which overlaps the edge of the next tile is on the right side. In the low countries, both "right" and "left" handed pantiles are available, so that a choice is available depending on the direction of the prevailing wind. They are hung on battens by means of a small projection or "nib" on the back of the top edge.
The first three or four courses of a pantiled roof are often in slate. These are known as easing courses and offer better protection to the wallhead, can allow more room to seat a wallplate, and disperse the channels of water formed in the pantiles which in periods of heavy rain can splash over the edge of rhones.
Until the lipped edge was improved by adding interlocking grooves, pantiled roofs were not that watertight, particularly in respect of wind driven snow, and were often torched.
(Easing course detail)
(Pantile detail)
(Illustrations in context)