Natural stone Valentia Slate has been utilised since at least 1816.

Only stones that have been used extensively for a long time and are still accessible for conservation are granted this special category. There are now just two Irish stones with this designation: this one and Connemara Marble.

In the same facility that was inaugurated by Peter Fitzgerald, the Knight of Kerry, in 1816, Valentia Slate is mined underground on Valentia Island in County Kerry.

When removing slate for a range of uses, such as flooring, roofing slates, kitchen countertops, and funerary headstones, the firm has a zero-waste philosophy. It has been used in several iconic structures around the globe, including the London House of Commons' flooring and roofs.

Leading the application for the worldwide designation were Carrig Conservation Consultants, under the direction of Peter Cox FRSA, and Professor Patrick Wyse Jackson and Dr Louise Caulfield of Stonebuilt Ireland at Trinity College Dublin, both authorities on Irish building stones and marbles.

Owner Aidan Forde of Valentia Slate Company stated that the company's knowledgeable and dedicated employees are also deserving of praise for their contributions to its current state.

“This award is recognition, not only of their own efforts in keeping Valentia Slate available for use in sustainable construction but also the work of the many generations of South Kerry people who worked at the quarry,” he said.

As stated by Professor Patrick Wyse Jackson, Valentia Slate is a special kind of stone that can only be found in County Kerry.

According to him, its properties made it possible to divide it into huge slabs and roofing slates, and it was used for a range of residential and commercial uses.

“Amongst the more unusual uses were for headstones, garden benches, billiard tables, water tanks, and walling for bonded warehouses,” he said.

Buildings are one of the main sources of greenhouse gas emissions; nevertheless, natural stone has very low carbon emissions, and Valentia Slate is now a part of the contemporary movement to use more timber and natural stone in construction since they are healthier for the environment.