I noticed this on a recent visit to some Listed Artists studios in Kensington which we are working on.

A charming but ordinary mews entrance in London? Yes and no. The setts, or cobbles, are actually wood, survivors of the era of horse-drawn transport. Once much of London (and many other cities) was actually paved in timber. End-grain cobbles are surprisingly durable and – crucially – helped muffle the sound of horses hooves and iron-rimmed carriage wheels. They were also much gentler on the horses hooves and joints than stone or asphalt.

Rare now, very occasionally an alert observer will still see a bit of old wood clinging on to the lid of a manhole cover, and this will also be a surviving cobble.

Here is another example, actually a floor in Wales:

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