the Most Ancient Paving Method

Cobblestones have been used for paving since ancient times. Roman-era cobbled streets date back to the 3rd and 4th centuries, and earlier examples have been found in what was ancient Greece and Mesopotamia. Originally smooth rounded stones gathered from river beds or glacial deposits were used as cobblestones. As safer, smoother streets were desired, quarried stones with much flatter surface profiles and more regular shapes were substituted. Now, this reclaimed stone—reclaimed cobblestone—is sought after, to be used mainly as pavers.

Ancient Roman Cobblestone Road Stone Curators
Ancient Roman Road
Cobblestone Street in Belgium
Belgian Bluestone Cobblestone in Europe Stone Curators
Cobblestone Street in Europe

Local stone is generally preferred for paving applications so we see cobblestones made of granite, porphyry, basalt, sandstone, and limestone depending on regional availability. The most durable of these stone types are igneous—the basalts, granites, and porphyry, but hard limestones and sandstones are also common.

Properly maintained cobblestone roadways can last centuries. When these old roads are upgraded to modern construction standards, their cobblestones can be reclaimed for use in modern applications. These weathered and worn cobbles have great aesthetic characteristics highlighted by worn surfaces, weathered patinas, and unique colors and shapes. Some also come with great pedigrees, having been harvested from well-known ancient roadways.

Reclaimed cobblestones are now used extensively as paving stone for driveways, driveway aprons, walkways, decorative borders, edging, and accent stones. Where environmental factors are a consideration permeable installations can also be achieved using reclaimed cobblestones compounding the benefits of this sustainable product. Cobblestones are also strong enough to be used as building stone or veneer although these are less common applications. 

Finding the right natural stone for your project has never been this easy.


Granite is used as a paving stone almost everywhere. Cobblestones are the most common form in Europe and North America. Although mostly gray, granite cobblestone colors vary widely by region as does the grain of each of the stones. The grain of reclaimed cobblestones are often less visible through weathered patinas but the colors are hard to disguise. Unlike modern or newly quarried cobblestones, colors vary in every lot of reclaimed cobbles and the effect of this variation is beautiful when artfully installed. 

In New England, most of our cobblestones are granite in shades of gray. But in the Chicago area you can find purples to grays, and in stone from Europe, for example, our Swedish granite cobblestones, display reds, yellows, and peach tones. The Swedish cobbles are also available with the tops sawn flat, making them perfect for modern style installations.

Domestic granite cobblestones also come in many different sizes and shapes. We sort the sizes by super jumbo, jumbo, road pavers, and medium. The shapes vary slightly by region with the oldest New England cobbles the least consistent.

Granite Cobblestone Installation Stone Curators
Reclaimed New England Granite Cobblestones
Swedish Granite Stone Curators
Reclaimed Swedish Granite Cobblestones
Reclaimed New England Granite Cobblestone Driveway Stone Curators
Recliamed domestic granite medium-sized cobbelstones


Porphyry is another very popular paving stone. In Europe, it’s used as cobblestone and is prized for its durability and color variations. Porphyry cobblestones often have square surfaces. Very small cobblestone cubes are also common and used in creative patterns. The fan pattern, for example, is very popular and widely seen. Porphyry colors vary, as shown below.

Reclaimed European Porphyry-cobblestone Driveway Stone Curators
Belgian Porphyry Cobblestone Cubes Stone Curators


Basalt is another igneous stone (like granite and porphyry) used for paving. It’s generally gray to black in color, although there are some gray-green examples. Some basalt also contains voids, or holes, that formed during the lava’s cooling process. The basalts used for cobblestones are generally those without voids, although there are exceptions. 

Black basalt cobbles are used extensively as the local cobblestone in the Azores, where they are combined with white limestone cobbles to create unique designs and borders. Basalt makes beautiful cobblestones that are very durable and desirable where dark stone is specified.

black basalt cobblestone street

Limestone Cobblestones

belgian bluestone cobblestone

Limestone, a sedimentary stone, is available all over the world and is often used as a paving stone. A common European cobblestone is Belgian bluestone which is actually a limestone. Reclaimed Belgian bluestone cobblestones are plentiful in Europe, where they are reclaimed from modern roadway reconstruction.

Belgian bluestone is a very hard limestone and is freeze/thaw resistant. This freeze/thaw resistance is very important when limestone exterior cobblestones are specified. Softer limestones can absorb moisture which fractures the surface when frozen but these can be used in exterior applications in warmer climates or indoors. Limestone comes in a wide range of colors and often contains small fossils of the shells that formed it when they were added to the sediment.

SANDSTONE Cobblestones

Sandstone cobblestones are prized for their rich earth tone colors. One example is our reclaimed European sandstone cobblestones, which are shades of beige, okra, and plum. The striking mix of colors in sandstone cobblestones makes for unique installations used either alone or as accents with other stone. Sandstone is also naturally skid-resistant.

Sandstone Cobblestone Decorative Border Stone Curators
Reclaimed European Sandstone Driveway Stone Curators

Creative Cobblestone Applications

Black Basalt and White Limestone Cobblestone in the Azores Stone Curators
Sandstone Cobblestone Fan Pattern Stone Curators
Reclaimed Granite Cobblestone Circular Pattern Stone Curators
Unusual Granite Cobblestone Installation Stone Curators

Product Highlights

Reclaimed New England Granite Cobblestones - Medium Pavers
Reclaimed New England Granite Jumbo-Cobblestone-Stone Curators
Reclaimed New England Granite Cobblestones - Jumbo Pavers
Reclaimed New England Granite Cobblestone Super Jumbo Stone Curators
Reclaimed New England Granite Cobblestones - Super Jumbo Pavers


Reclaimed Belgian Bluestone Cobblestone Stone Curators
Reclaimed Belgian Bluestone Cobblestones
Reclaimed European Porphyry Cobblestone Stone Curators
Reclaimed European Porphyry Cobblestones
Reclaimed European Sandstone Cobblestone Stone Curators
Reclaime European Sandstone Cobblestone

Try Our Cobblestone Visualizer

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