Concrete Roof Tile History

Cowperthwaite tiles were one of the first concrete roof tiles made in New Zealand in the early 1910`s by William Thomas Cowperthwaite. The original Cowperthwaite Roofing Company was formed in 1906. Their first roof tile was named a Yankee tile made in the companies’ premises in Mt Eden Rd. They then came up with another tile profile called the Super Tile then the perfect roof tile came along. They continued to make roof tiles at their mt Eden rd factory up until the mid 60`s.

Petrous roof tileswere first made in 1919 by Petrous Tile Company Ltd Caversham Dunedin. In the old Gasworks site. They then spread out to the North Island, they made many profiles of roofing tiles. They made a great roof tile called the Beseranza and the Atlas roof tile which are still around on roofs today.
In 1965 H.C. Clarke Ltd bought in to the Petrous Tile Company.
In 1970 H.C. Clarke Ltd bought out the final capital and changed the name to CLARKE PETROUS MONIER LIMITED. then in 1970 it became known as Monier Tile Limited.

Penman & Jefferies roof tile (P & J Tile) were made around the 1930`s the old fashion way by mixing the sand on the floor by hand in a workshop.

Winstone Concurve Roof Tile was a concrete tile made by Winstones Limited Between 1936-1939.

A large number of concrete roof tile plants were dotted around the country in the 1930`s. Manufacturing started out very regional and in close proximity to where to work was. As the government had put restrictions in place due to fuel supply issues of world war 2. This in turn limited how far you could freight goods by road.

In the 1930`s when state houses were been built by the government it was stipulated that building materials in this case roof tiles must be purchased from the closets source. To help enforce this you could not get a road licence to cart the materials any great distance than 30 Miles or 50 Kms it was extended to 40 Miles or 67 Kms in 1961

Craig roof tiles were made by J J Craig’s in the 1930`s they were made at their St Georges bay rd Parnell premises they were bought out fully by Winstones in 1984.

Leader roof tiles they were made by DL Gibbon ltd in 1953.

Ross Roofing limited started roof tile production in 1950 and produced the first Rosscrete tile. They were making 400 roof tiles by hand per day and had three machines on the go. They are still in the roofing business to this day, but on a much larger scale they now have an international presence.

We would like to thank Ian Ross and Des Cowperthwaite personally for passing on some of the their memories of those early.days of their companies and their competitors, if you have information that could add to this story please contact jarrod at Macmillans