Protecting Rye’s historic heritage
for future generations
Rye Conservation Society is a registered charity -
Mathematical tiles are clay tiles shaped so that the part of the tile exposed to view is the size and shape of the face of a brick. They are fixed to a wall which has usually been close boarded.
Corners are always a problem with mathematical tiles. A similar problem comes with windows. Here the solution is to bring the window to the front face of the building and use the frame to cover the exposed edges of the tiles.
They perform two functions: to weatherproof the house and for fashion. With new windows, doorway and a parapet roof, a timber framed medieval house looks like a brick built Georgian house.
They were also used on specific types of buildings designed for their use, notably cheap housing in Brighton in the early 19th century and school buildings in the Midlands in the 1950s where they were no match for footballs.
Mathematical Tiled Wall
Images and text by John Griffiths, Rye Conservation Society