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Monday, April 30, 2018

Building A Wall - Building A Community

A dozen strangers came together over the weekend to learn an old skill and created a thing of beauty, something to last through decades, long after we are all gone. We hosted a dry stone walling workshop taught by a master stonemason from Derbyshire UK.

They learnt about the nature of the stone and that there is a lot more to building a stone wall than just balancing rock upon rock. Each piece was searched and chosen from the pile and hammered and shaped to lock in with the others.

 There is a lot of physics involved in creating a stable wall, pinned by it's own weight and tightly tied with key stones running lengthwise and as importantly, transversely.

They learnt about creating features in a wall to weather storms and erosion and livestock interactions. Neil will find it very hard to rub against at this angle! 

There is much to learn about the stonemasons craft but in just two days a group of people who had never done this before created 8m of very handsome and more importantly, safe and sound walling. I am so very proud of them and can't stop looking at it.

Our participants were all so positive and willing and from diverse backgrounds. We had teachers, builders, landscapers, passionate gardeners and old property owners. Their stories were fascinating and their journeys purposeful. Our lives touched briefly but the skills they learnt this weekend will ripple wider throughout the community like pebbles in pond water. As we watched the magnificent pink and orange sunset we couldn't help but pinch ourselves and think how fortunate we are to have these wonderful opportunities. It's hard work, and we have to "make things happen" but the payoff is rich and rewarding to make so many new friends.


  1. What a wonderful, wonderful thing to do. God bless you!! Truly a thing of beauty, a skill and an art of beauty and love... I can't say enough about how happy it makes me that people are learning this.

  2. That's fantastic, Tanya. I love the old wall and hedging crafts and it's a real delight to see so many people learning about dry stone walling and able to keep the tradition alive and well. I'm really glad you had such a good weekend. Well done! :)

  3. Gorgeous wall, fabulous community effort

  4. Oh, I think your wall is a thing of beauty! How wonderful to build something that will last for such a long, long time. Meg:)

  5. A very powerful aesthetic is achieved with nature's givings and mankind's penetration of the laws of physics. And it sounds like you had fun to boot!


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