Yorkstone is one of those quintessentially English stones that everyone has heard of, but how many people actually know what a special Yorkstone actually is?
Of all the natural stones quarried in the UK, York stone is perhaps the most versatile. It is used for paving, house signs, tombstones, chimneys and all types of buildings from churches to office buildings. Yorkstone is now increasingly the stone of choice for house signs.
Yorkstone is a sedimentary limestone
Yorkstone is a sedimentary limestone, meaning a stone formed from the sediment of long-gone lakes and seas. This process means that all sedimentary limestones are more or less layered or layered. Layers in rocks such as Portland or Bath Stone are deep, and each layer or layer can produce a different class of stone, some with fine, clean stones, others with heavy fossilized shell. However, the York stone is laid in fine layers, only a few millimeters thick per layer.
It is this layering that gives Yorkstone much of its character. The stone is built up in layers or layers that can be seen on the edge of the stone. This creates a hard, dense stone with greater tensile strength than most other limestones.
It is this tensile strength and hardness that makes York stone so suitable for paving use. Yorkstone paving slabs have a remarkable wear capacity and today the ancient York paving, originally laid a hundred or more years ago, is a valuable and expensive reclaimed commodity.
The color of New Yorkstone is usually mostly red or gold, but old Yorkstone was commonly available in shades of gray, dark brown, and true blue!
This variety of colors and tones made Yorkstone the material of choice for fireplace builders in the 1980s. As a young man I built hundreds of such fireplaces, which of course are now out of fashion.
Yorkstone is ideal for carving as Businessacademy1 rarely shows traces of the fossilized shell that can mar the surface of other limestones and the color generally remains fairly consistent across the slab or block, although variation when a new layer or layer is cut can become more dark.
This uniformity and durability is one of the reasons why Yorkstone has always been valued for its suitability for carving. It has been used for tombstones for generations and is now increasingly used for engraved house plaques and plaques.
Yorkstone has other properties that are less well known. For example, did you know that it is an excellent fine abrasive? In the past, all stonemasons’ yards and workshops had a Yorkstone block and a large hand-turned Yorkstone wheel for sharpening the chisel. A stone lubricated with water was often the only whetstone available. Another use was to fill in lead letters on tombstones. After the lead was inserted into the finished letters, they were rubbed with a piece of York stone and water, simultaneously flattening and blackening the lead.
Finally, the reason I love this stone is its ability to age and weather well.
The stone tombstones, walls and markers of Old York are hundreds of years old, covered with moss and the noise of history with almost illegible inscriptions is still very beautiful and the quality of the stone still shines!