Wood Paved Street

During the Victorian period, many streets were paved with wood as a means for improving the distance a horse could travel before “falling” and to reduce the noise caused by iron-rimmed wagon wheels. Some street vendors had complained to authorities that their noisy granite pavement had driven much of their customers away, so alternative building […]

During the Victorian period, many streets were paved with wood as a means for improving the distance a horse could travel before “falling” and to reduce the noise caused by iron-rimmed wagon wheels.

Some street vendors had complained to authorities that their noisy granite pavement had driven much of their customers away, so alternative building materials such as asphalt and wood was extensively tested.

In 1839, the first wood pavement was laid in the Old Bailey, using pine blocks six inches deep, eight inches long, and three inches thick.

The rows of blocks were separated by a strip three-quarters of an inch thick, and the interstices filled with a mixture of asphalt and pitch.

Today, only a few segments remain in London of the original wooden blocks, in this instance on Chequer Street next to Bunhill Row.

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