Cobblestone Driveways Wells, Shepton Mallet, Glastonbury & Somerset
When they first became popular in England around the 15th Century for paving over muddy, rutted roadways cobblestones were sourced from rivers and streams – small natural stones worn smooth and round by tumbling around in the water. They were simply gathered and laid by hand in sand (or sometimes mortar) in any configuration that worked, providing a good surface for horses and carriages to grip on. Cheap, tough and low maintenance – what was not to love about cobblestones?
Nothing much has changed except that what we now refer to as “cobbles” are actually rather more engineered than their historic counterparts. A more correct term for the stones (usually granite) that we use to craft modern cobbled roadways is “setts”. Setts are quarried into a rectangular or square shape of different sizes, each with six faces, like little loaves of bread. Setts (also known as Belgian Blocks) are still laid by hand either in a sand base to allow for surface flexibility where necessary, or can be grouted or cemented in place for a more permanent, rigid base.
The result is a visually stunning, charming driveway, patio or path that screams “quality” – particularly if the setts are laid in traditional patterns. Cobblestoned surfaces somehow lend a magical aura that transports us back to a more romantic era, when the clip-clop of horses’ hoofs rang across the stones to the beat of a much slower pace of life.
Here at Landscaping Works (SW) Ltd. we are committed to living up to our name, whether it comes to laying cobblestones or any other landscaping job we do, which perhaps means we’re a touch more expensive than the run of the mill landscaping companies who are adept at finding “short cuts”. We know all about how to cut corners to save costs, but we prefer not to do so because we want our work to scream “quality”, and endure.
For example, when we grout patio slabs or cobbles we could use a single part grout, which would look good and do the trick, but it wouldn’t be long before it succumbed to winter frosts and pressure washing and started to lift and crumble. So, we use a two-part grouting – more expensive but more durable, actually proving more cost-effective in the long run. The same applies to other aspects of our work, like decking subframes – if we used inferior frames the deck would not last very long.
Laying setts is certainly labour intensive, but our driveways team here at Landscaping Works (SW) Ltd. like nothing better than to be contracted to construct a cobbled driveway. Not only is the work extremely satisfying, but we know that once complete, it will probably still be there – stable and functional – for centuries to come!
The stone material we use and manual methods we employ for laying cobbled driveways may be vintage, but the time and effort we put in to the careful preparation of our cobbling certainly benefits from modern scientifically-based practice when it comes to things like drainage, suitable sub-strates, the degree of camber, and jointing methods.
This means that we can merge the old-fashioned charm of cobblestone with modern engineering methods to create something very special and bespoke to give any property the “wow” factor.
We at Landscaping Works (SW) Ltd. are acknowledged experts in the laying of setts and creating cobblestoned driveways across Somerset, especially in Wells, Glastonbury and Shepton Mallet. Contact us today for a free no-obligation estimate to see how affordable it is to transform your home with cobblestone.
Landscape Gardeners Somerset