La Roque Saint-Christophe en Dordogne » Lauze » workshop

Lauze” workshop

You’ve got a date with the builders of the Middle Ages! Lauze is a sedimentary rock that can be cut into thin layers, like strata, and is used to cover buildings, particularly in the Dordogne. It is an effective roofing material that is still very popular today. Come and find out more about cutting lauze and making lauze roofs at our cutting demonstration workshops. It’s an impressive and highly visual technique! Come and meet Claude Crouzel, a specialist in this traditional Périgord material.

Cutting lauze

Particularly well represented in the Vézère Valley, lauze roofs are sumptuous and of very high quality. For the record, it’s a common misconception that it’s because of the snow that the roofs of traditional Périgord houses are so steep! But it’s not! It’s because lauze roofs are very heavy and the steeply sloping roof timbers make the whole roof more solid! It’s a question of load distribution.

The lauziers are the people who make the lauze roofs. The lauzes are also used to make low walls and bories (round shepherd’s houses with lauze pepperpot roofs). The lauzes are cut from the limestone, then sorted and left to dry and harden for a few months. Today, lauze is an expensive building material and technique (because skills are in short supply), but in the past, lauze was used on both modest farmhouses and middle-class houses.

Taille de la lauze 2

Come and see the slate-cutting workshop at La Roque Saint-Christophe

In July and August 2024, visit La Roque Saint-Christophe on Mondays and Tuesdays from 2.30pm to 6pm. Claude, a specialist craftsman, will explain everything to you, from the cutting and laying of the lauze to the creation of the very special framework.

The workshop is available on the tour circuit, at no extra charge, and is suitable for all the family.