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Yorkstone’s rich heritage

Yorkstone’s rich heritage

When using York Stone for paving, flooring or walling, you will be joining a history of craftsmen and builders. People who have been using the materials for centuries.

Yorkstone or “York Stone” is the name given to any sandstone quarried in Yorkshire.

The Romans were some of the first to realise the value of using the hard-wearing and attractive local stone. They used it to build houses and fortifications, as well as for flooring. In fact, the name “York Stone” is thought to have arisen from the Romans when laying the early foundations of York.

Building Yorkshire with Yorkstone flagstones and bricks

After the Romans came the Anglo Saxons, followed by the Normans. The Normans used York Stone bricks and flagstones to build many churches within the region. Churches include the ancient Bardsey All Hallows Church. Much later, in the 17th and 18thCentury, Yorkstone was used in a number of manor houses and halls across Yorkshire. These include East Riddlesden Hall, now owned by the National Trust.

Around this time, growth in the wool trade saw the need for new mills and worker dwellings. More quarries were opened to supply the ever-increasing demand for Yorkstone. This growth continued into the 19th century with the towns of Halifax, Huddersfield, Bradford and Leeds all being extended with Yorkstone flagstones and bricks, mostly funded by local industrialists.

One such character was Titus Salt. Titus built the town of Saltaire to provide high-quality living conditions for his workers and their families. Built using Yorkstone bricks and slabs, Saltaire is seen as being so significant in world history. It is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site by the United Nations.

Yorkstone goes national, then international

The rise of the canal systems and later the rail networks saw Yorkstone being used by other regions of the UK. For example, the traditional paving slabs found on London pavements are in fact Yorkshire sandstone.

Both new and reclaimed Yorkstone is now exported all over the world, with more and more people coming to appreciate the durability, versatility and beauty of Yorkshire’s humble sandstone.

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