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.