Home > Loose Materials > Advice on Hoggin, Cinders and Ash Driveways

Advice on Hoggin, Cinders and Ash Driveways

By: Chris Hogan MSc - Updated: 2 Jul 2017 | comments*Discuss
Advice On Hoggin, Cinders And Ash Driveways

This article covers the loose materials available for constructing driveways that are similar to gravel but not classed as such. Gravel is made from stone that's been broken down and smoothed, to a greater or lesser extent, either naturally in rivers and on sea beds, or artificially, as a by-product of quarrying activities.

Gravels are covered in detail in our article in this section (read Gravel Driveways: The Advantages and Disadvantages and Looking After Gravel Drives), but these other materials that are often used for driveways have a similar consistency and density to gravel. They are graded hoggin, crag, cinders and ash and none of them are made from stone.

Graded Hoggin

Graded hoggin is a mix of sands, clay and gravel that was historically popular in the south and east of England. Because of the mix of materials, graded hoggin, when compacted, forms a semi-solid driveway surface similar to that of self-binding gravels, which are more prevalent in the north.

It's on a longer, well-used drive that graded hoggin is likely to be most useful. This is because it beds down and sticks together, forming a fairly comfortable and level road surface that can withstand medium to heavy use. It won’t be anywhere near as durable as Tarmac or Concrete, but it will cost considerably less, and it can be topped up over the years quite a few times before eventually requiring complete re-laying.

Coal Ash and Cinders

Cinders or ash refer to the coal ash by-products from coal-fired power stations and, as they are generally being decommissioned these days, they are getting harder to find. If you do come across coal ash or cinders at a decent price, then it makes just as good a surface as gravel, except that it only comes in black or charcoal colour, unsurprisingly.

This option be a very effective contrast in the right location, but it depends on the overall landscaping that you're doing. Beware of grades that won’t be effective as a driveway gravel, though. PFA (Pulverised Fly Ash) is one example that is simply too small and light to be of much use on a drive.

Crag – one for the Equestrians

Another gravel-like product, but this time one that's more specialist, is crag, which is made from crushed shells. Previously popular in East Anglia and the south-east of England because of the availability of the right kind of shell, it is now a favourite for equine establishments.

It is less likely to be dragged about by pedestrians and horses, and is said to be used in Royal Parks for this reason. It isn't widely available but could be the right material if you have a driveway that is likely to be used as much by horses and people as cars and other vehicles.

Chose the Right Product and Lay it Down

Laying products like coal ash, cinders or graded hoggin is no different to laying gravel (which is covered in our article in this section) and should be reasonably straightforward and painless. The only real problem is choosing between all the different products available, something that will probably come down to look, local availability and cost.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Hi - we have had Hoggin laid in a vegetable patch - it seems to be still susceptible to breaking up and not sweepable?Is there anything we can do about this/would some form of resin be capable of being laid on top to make it more durable? Thanks
Jon Wat - 2-Jul-17 @ 10:16 AM
Hi I've just moved into a terraced house with a backyard with ugly concrete I was wondering if I could cover it with hoggin and would I have to dig the concrete up first
Keirasgran - 28-Apr-17 @ 5:43 PM
Hi just how hard wearing is 22mm lime stone for my driveway
Patch - 9-Jun-15 @ 6:14 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • diddy
    Re: Gravel Driveways: Advantages and Disadvantages
    Have just had a loose gravel driveway laid and already finding it hugely inconvenient for wheeling anything…
    16 November 2017
  • Edd
    Re: Planning Permission for Driveways
    My house is not on the same level as the street, it is down from the road and path. I want to build a driveway, but if I…
    6 November 2017
  • Saxa
    Re: Resin Bound Driveway Surfacing
    Hi, had a resin bound drive layed last May, and we were very pleased with it until now. What we didn't know then was that…
    30 October 2017
  • Colin
    Re: Resin Bound Driveway Surfacing
    Hi. Can bound aggregate be laid on an established concrete drive which is damp or wet? My contractor says it can though the…
    20 October 2017
  • John
    Re: The Art of Laying Tarmac
    We had a new ditch dug earlier in the year which holds a new drain, gas, water and electricity pipework, which goes to a garage…
    17 October 2017
  • Helper
    Re: Resin Bound Driveway Surfacing
    @Safetyfirst Without going in to the drainage, planning and use of a flexible system details, as a manufacturer we would not…
    15 October 2017
  • Helper
    Re: Resin Bound Driveway Surfacing
    @Thomo5949 Resin bound or bonded surfaces are not suitable for this application. Whilst they can be installed directly onto a…
    15 October 2017
  • Helper
    Re: Resin Bound Driveway Surfacing
    @jock No this is not normal. Trowel marks are either the result of an unskilled installer, the over use of solvents to lubricate…
    15 October 2017
  • Ruth
    Re: Planning Permission for Driveways
    Hi I need advice. We want to pave our driveway. Our rainwater directed to border. Do we need any permission? Just one thing…
    11 October 2017
  • gilly
    Re: Patterned and Textured Concrete
    just looking to see how much for a new driveway.patterned concrete
    11 October 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the DrivewayExpert website. Please read our Disclaimer.