Traditionally, paved walk and road ways were made using products such as cobbles, tile on edge, brick paviours or stone such as granite and York Stone. Occasionally, wooden blocks were used.

Where they survive, these types of surfaces form an important part of our visual and tactile appreciation of historic townscape yet they are elements of the built environment that all too often have been seriously damaged in recent years. This depredation occurs principally through the inappropriate replacement of original materials, in whole or in part, with cheap and easy-to-lay substances such as tarmac and concrete.

A second consequence of the use of such surrogate surfaces which, although not so immediately obvious as a changed street colour and texture, is nevertheless equally serious. Namely, it has led to a loss of the skills needed to lay traditional paving products to a high standard so that, even when the expense of traditional materials is deemed worthwhile, the job of reinstatement is often poorly completed.

Traditional tools used for the laying of paving include pitchers, bolsters and chisels, the latter being used for drilling and cutting. Some pavements in Hove are now being relaid with traditional paving and those in Medina Terrace are illustrative of good craft practice.

If you are interested in further reading on this topic, these links will provide you with more information:

Pavement interactive's pavement history

Articlebase; History of paving