Category Archives: dry stone walling
We have just about finished the dry stone walls we started earlier in the summer. Just as well since we seemed to have used up all of the stone that we had left over. It is difficult to believe that the huge mountain of stone that was left over from the old barn and outbuildings has now been moved and forms the new dry stone walls. We moved all of the stone by hand with the aid of an old dumper. We just kept chipping away at it and eventually it was all gone.
We are now left with a new sheep pen (for housing the dumper and other stuff for now) and a new dry stone wall along the top field. Give it a year and it will have all blended in.
Well, we are almost there. Just as well since our mountain of stone has almost all gone. Amazing to think that all of this stone has been moved by hand with just the aid of our old dumper. It has been a little slow on occasion, but we got there in the end.
There was always a wall here, but in days gone by I think the wall collapsed and what is left is hidden under the grass in the bottom field. So now is our opportunity to re-build, but this time not to have it too close to the edge of the escarpment. It is the same height as the back wall (and the sheep pen) in the top field. It will come around to the right of the large oak tree and then join up with the existing wall in the bottom field. This will then enclose the bottom field while not obscuring the views from the house.
All of the stone has been moved by hand with the aid of our old dumper. Compared to some of the other walling we have done, this has been quite a quick job – mainly due to much better building stone.
In order to use up some of the left over stone, we decided to build a “sheep pen” in the top field to house our dumper and other bits and pieces. Part of these walls have been built through the mountain of stone by building the wall a section at a time – we have been moving the stone from in front of us to build the wall. This in turn allows us to dig the footings for the next section and the process starts all over again. Laborious, but it works!
We had a real mountain of stone left over when we demolished the old barn. It was of little use when re-building the extension, but since it had been here for the last 200-300 years, we didn’t really want to get rid of it. So the big question is what do you do with around 250 tons of old stone?
Our first call was to build a “sheep pen” around the mountain of stone. This would give us somewhere to park various bits of machinery where it was out of site. In the short term, it would also be a good spot to store horse manure/compost. And who knows, eventually even some sheep!
The next step was to re-build the wall in the top field along the boundary with the lower field. There had been a wall here previously, but I suspect that it was built a little too close to the edge of the escarpment and it just end up as a pile of stones along the edge of the bottom field. This old wall can still be seen in places. The new wall is just a little back from the edge, so hopefully the same fate will not await our new wall.
I reckon by the time that we have finished this wall that most of the mountain of stone will have disappeared (or rather, been repurposed!).
Over the past couple of months, we have been doing odd jobs around the place. We concentrated on getting the work done rather than keeping the blog up to date, so here’s a quick round up……
We finished the dry stone wall along the orchard and top field last month and had quite a bit of stone left over. With the arrival of our new dumper (well, new to us), we were in a position to move the stone out of the way into the bottom field. This means that in time we should be able to mow the grass up to the new wall. All in all, it took about a dozen trips in the dumper.