Toiture en lauze, caractéristique du Périgord NoirToiture en lauze, caractéristique du Périgord Noir
©Toiture en lauze, caractéristique du Périgord Noir|Penn Graphics

Admire   the thackstone roofs of the Périgord, an age-old expertise

As you stroll through the historical town of Sarlat and the villages around Sarlat, you’ll notice that the thackstone roofs of the Périgord are masterpieces of the local architecture!

Thackstone roofs, characteristic of the Périgord !

Take time to speak with the locals, and they will explain to you that these slabs of limestone are so widely used in the Périgord because they are taken from local quarries.

Admire the old houses of the area around Sarlat – not to mention the manor houses and castles of the Périgord – and you’ll certainly be enthralled.

You’ll necessarily notice the stone roofs! In fact, golden ochre stone will accompany you throughout your stay in the Périgord.

With time and precipitation, the stone takes on a dark colour similar to that of slate. These wonders may be admired in countless villages.

Notable examples are the village of Saint-Geniès in the Fénelon area, the Manoirs d’Eyrignac and the abbey of Saint-Amand-de-Coly .

Expertise passed along from generation to generation

It’s not easy to find an active thackstone craftsman, since this traditional expertise is quickly disappearing.

You might get a rare opportunity to meet one in the Sarlat area. The building technique, as the craftsman would explain, is passed on from one generation to the next.

Handling stones that weigh between 600 and 800 kg per square meter (approximately 1300 to 1800 lbs per square yard), finely shaping them, and stacking them is an incredibly precise work to witness!

The secrets of thackstone roofs in the Périgord

You might wonder why thackstone roofs in the Périgord are so steep.

Their shape distributes the weight throughout the walls.

But once the thackstone roof is installed, it does tend to stay in place! Have a peek under the edge of the roof to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of this age-old technique.