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What is Yorkstone and how long have we used it?

York Stone is a specific type of Sandstone which is indigenous to quarries in and around Yorkshire. It dates from the Carboniferous period, over 358 million years ago. The word ‘Carboniferous’ means ‘coal bearing’ and the York Stone was created as a result of silt deposits which build up in rivers.

The characteristics of York Stone are the tightly grained stone of Carbinerous Sedimentary rock.  The main components of the stone are Iron Oxides, Mica, Feldspar and Quartz.

Mica- group of sheet silicate minerals, this gives the glitter effect in the stone.

Feldspar– rock forming minerals that make up 60% of the Earth’s crust, causing veins of colour ranging from pink, white grey and brown.

Quartz– the second most abundant mineral after Feldspar. It is very resistant to weathering and can be coloured from opaque to black.

Iron Oxides-a chemical compound of Iron and Oxygen, reddish brown in colour.

York Stone is renowned for its durability and hard wearing properties, which in turn have been used for centuries for buildings, landscaping and the construction industry.

The majority of street paving in London is York Stone.

The colour of York Stone can vary but this is dependent on the minerals within the stone, each quarry varies slightly.

Most York Stone can be matched to existing stone, within time it will ‘weather’ to complement original or pre-existing stone.

Where does York Stone Come From?

York Stone was originally used by the Romans, they saw its’ potential as a hard wearing attractive stone, then followed by the Anglo Saxons and Normans in Medieval times, right through to 18thcentury where the industry started to really develop.

Stone was initially ’quarried’ on the valley sides, this was hard manual labour. Eventually moving underground, creating large chambers, with the advent of Steam Cranes this allowed the industry to expand further.

Today, stone is obtained by blasting, digging or cutting.  However, the convenience of machinery doesn’t complete the finished stone, this is done in the traditional way of ‘dressing’ the stone by hand.  This is achieved by hand chiselling the edges to creates a neat edge, each stone being hand finished to an exacting standard with skill and craftsmanship, that has been handed down from generation to generation.

York Stone is not just another natural material so each purchase gives an insight into history.

Reclaimed York Stones usage is the true essence of recycling a natural material without damaging the environment.  It is a lasting legacy for future generations to appreciate and enjoy.

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