Monday, 27 September 2010

Congress Outing

One of the excursions from the Congress was to Lower Winskill farm near Settle high up in the Yorkshire Dales. The ground had been farmed by Cistercian Monks in the middle ages before the dissolution (that strange double meaning which sounds so close to disillusion) of the monasteries by Henry Vlll . What was different about these walls built of limestone on bedrock in the 14th and 15th century was that they had no batter , they also had overhanging cope stones which may have been to prevent wolves reaching their sheep. The farm was bordered by extensive native woodland at the time.
The present farmer and archaeologist, Tom Lord, told us that for the lay monks work was a pleasure and a duty where time and material were not important factors. Changed days.
(Thanks to Tracey Blackwell for giving me some sound advice on this entry.)
The next Photos (27th September)were taken inside a disused slate quarry close to the Congress site.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

12th International Dry Stone Walling Congress

I attended this event at the University of Cumbria in Ambleside. It was a great success. The talks were mostly fascinating and well chosen to cover the Craft (or is it Art ) of walling. There was a fine collection of enthusiasts including a good mix of "hands on" wallers and academics from many countries.

While most of us were listening to the lectures a stone seat was being constructed under the direction of Andy Loudon. This is shown here with some of the builders from across the world.

The next entry has photos of medieval walls visited during one of the outings. The style was quite a surprise for the guests.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Thistle at the Scottish Garden Show

This was the exhibit organised by the West of Scotland branch of the DSWA. Several other branches helped in the construction. Normally features at these shows are dismantled however in this case the Thistle is to be rebuilt at Erskine home.

Regimental Walls of Scotland,

Erskine Home sponsored the walls built in different types of stone to represent Scottish Regiments. Galloway boulders for the Royal Scots Borderers,Skye marble the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders,granite the Highlanders, sandstone for the Black Watch and whinstone for the Royal Highland Fusiliers.
What a fine result with a lovely combination of rocks and flowers.
Entry on 24th September tells about the recent Dry Stone Congress held in the Lake District.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Yorkshire Bridge

Members of the Otley and Yorkshire Dales branch of the DSWA under the direction of John Hestlegrave built this attractive bridge at Ballowfield for the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Congratulations to all involved with this delightful feature. As it is in a public place they decided very wisely to use lime mortar on the copes.

The next entry is the image of a Scottish thistle in stone and flowers. (19th September) After that are some entries about the recent Dry Stone Congress at Ambleside.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Rocktober Festival 2010

Now in its 7th year you are sure of a lovely welcome at the Dry Stone Walling Thanksgiving Festival in Canada, the second weekend of October

I have attended all these events , thoroughly enjoyed myself , met wonderful people and learned a great deal. This year they are building a bridge , teaching courses with an array of international instructors, have several exhibits, providing fun for the children and there will be fascinating evening talks. Normally hundreds of interested members of the public attend to observe. Food is good too.

To learn more about the location, the dates and the programme contact

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Sedum on top of a limestone wall

Dean McLellan sent this photo of the wall (limestone) at the front of his garden. The Sedum covering is growing luxuriantly into its second year. During the first year it was watered regularly, this year only occasionally. I have tried to do similar things in Scotland on other types of rock without success. I can only manage to get grass turf or heather turf to survive.
For more information go to
The next entry is all about meeting up with enthusiasts for the craft in Canada.

Friday, 3 September 2010

New Members Day

Several years ago our branch of the DSWA realised that many new members only went to one training session ,joined the organisation but never came again to any event. To try to remedy this the committee decided to instigate an annual new members day . We invited each of the previous years crop of folk to a day of practice along with some of our more established wallers to help people to to get to know each other better. This Saturday we had our 5th one , this time at Camserney in Perthshire.

It was a great event with a fine section of wall built with some very large stones. Thanks are due to Bruce Forsyth, Stewart Hutt, Willie Shand, Grace Paterson, Eric Drummond, Janice McDonald, Rinaldo Kutteringand and Billy McCallum. In addition I have to add the thanks of us all to Archie Gibson for providing a good supply of rocks and fine food.
Next entry(7th September) shows how plants can be grown on top of a wall given the correct conditions.