Dry stone walling course

I attended an intro course in dry stone walling at the weekend run by the Yorkshire Dry Stone Walling Academy. http://ydswa.com/.  It was held at a farm on the way to Barnsley and was about a 20 minute drive from where we are in West Yorkshire.  So pretty convenient.

I now know how to strip a wall down, sort out new foundations and build a new wall.  It was pretty hard going and the weather was hot – I drank nearly 2 litres of water on each of the days.  I can still feel the effects of a couple of days hard labour!  However, it was good fun and I think I learnt an awful lot. If nothing else, I now have an appreciation of the amount of effort that goes into building these walls!

This is my bit of the wall – the overall wall was a group effort – I worked the bit of the right hand end of the wall.  There were 7 of us on the course with two instructors.  It is far from perfect, but not too bad for a first attempt. 

I reckon with a bit of practice it would be possible to complete about one metre of wall per day.  So how many metres of wall are there in the new property?  I reckon (using good old Google Earth) that there is around 500 metres of dry stone wall on the property – about 400 metres is in good shape requiring a little bit of repair here and there, but about 100 metres needs totally rebuilding.  I don’t have a more accurate estimate at this point, since I have had more important things to look at up until now.  Even so with a 100 metres of wall to rebuild that is potentially 100 days work – or 5 months full time.  Mmmmm.

Here’s some more photos from the weekend.   I would highly recommend the course. And all for £75.

At the end of the first day.
The group at work.