Making Natural Paving Slabs the old way in a Yorkstone Quarry. The Delver has to rive the Natural Slabs from the York Stone Quarry bed using only His Delving Hammer, Chisel (Nicker), Wedges (Stringers) and Bar. First the Delver marks a line on the Yorkstone Slab the Yorkstone Delver then Nicks the Stone Slab along the line and down the end where the Slab needs to break. The Natural Yorkstone Slab is then Wedged from the Quarry bed with the Nicker, Stringers and Bar.
When the York Stone Slab is free from the Quarry bed the Nicker is placed under the Yorkstone Slab in-line with the Nicked line on the Slab. The York Stone Delver then lifts the Slab at one end with his Bar, sliding the bar out from under the large Yorkstone Slab forces it to drop and break along the line previously made by the Delver with his Nicker.
The Yorkstone Slabs are then squared ready to be used as Natural Paving or other Yorkstone Products, the whole process is done by hand as it was Hundreds of Years ago before they invented Mechanical Machinery. The term used for this kind of stone extraction was known as “Nick and Tup”. Using Plant Machinery to Extract this layer of stone would break the large pieces making them smaller and less Valuable.
For more on York Stone History Visit our History Page.
The Photo below shows a Delving Hammer, Nicker, Stringers and Pitching Tool.