What are cobbles?
Cobbles are stones which were used in earlier times for street’s and roads. The word ‘cob’ means a rounded lump which describes the cobblestones best. Cobbles are large pebbles which have often been rounded by flowing water. They are found on the bed streams where they are gathered. While many stones are quarried and shaped the cobblestone is naturally formed and shaped. The stone usually has dimensions of 2.5-10 inches.
The cobblestone has different uses especially due to its colorful and round shape and the stone can be used in roads and paths where they are set in with a mortar and a binding agent.
Some advantages of using the cobble stone on are:
The road or driveway can be used heavily throughout and still be in good shape.
Tarmac roads and dirt roads can have ruts and potholes which are rarely found on cobblestone roads.
In early times the paths made of cobbles were known to be noisey when there was a horse carriage or even a vehicle as times went on but this can be an advantage to pedestrians of letting them know of vehicles approaching.
Also the stones are known to be environmentally friendly because they do not crack under heavy movement.
Cobblestones could be largely used for the streets of today but have been replaced with granite setts which have been quarried and shaped rectangular. These stones are also unique because they are rough on the surface.
This was to ensure a smooth ride for automobiles and horse carts. Over time the use of cobblestone has been overtaken by modern road materials such as tarmac or even concrete. Cobblestone streets and pavements are found in historic areas although across Europe today the pedestrianised areas and streets in towns and cities are made with cobble helping alert pedestrians to approaching vehicles. In modern day’s the use of cobbles or setts is considered as artistic and unique.
The cobble stones were used in architecture for construction of walls. The stones were used to build private homes in historic areas. Some of these can be found in Paris and Ontario for example. Cobbles were often used on churches, schools, barns, factories, shops, cemetery markers and stagecoach taverns.
Cobblestones are sometimes used to make cycle racing challenging, riders need to use all of their skills when riding on them.
Many cobblestone structures are maintained in some countries to serve as tourist attraction areas meaning the structures continue to attract revenue not only locally but also nationally.