Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Stone walling.



My next door neighbour is having some stone walls built, and their man (who I think is either Spanish or Portuguese) is a real craftsman.

He is slow, very slow; but every stone is studied and perfectly placed. He even manages to get the composition of colours right.


Nowadays, when building in stone, it is usually only the facade that is actual stone. A concrete block interior wall is built, then the stones laid in front. The space between blocks and stones is filled with whatever is to hand, mixed with concrete. You'd never know the difference.


I'm not sure yet what they're building, but as long as they're not in a hurry I reckon it'll look very good indeed. It's just a matter of getting 'Pedro' to turn up!

The above is about 6 months (occasional) work; or even more.




41 comments:

  1. That wall is stunning. What talent and patience.

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    1. I'd have him working for me anyday.

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  2. I have something about stone walls; I take pictures of them too. Are the rocks cemented together?
    Only a Pedro (Pier or Pietro) can work rocks that well.
    Greetings Maria x

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    1. Yes they are cemented, but it's hidden. The wall looks almost like an old one. He's a real pro'.

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  3. I like to see traditional materials being used in construction. In places where this it is used the effect is harmony.

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    1. Harmony in some places, but not in others. One also sees some awful work around!!!

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    2. You'll be lending him a hand with your new wheelbarrows ;-)

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  4. We had an Albanian guy do some stone work for us. He was a true maestro just like this man. His work is aesthetically pleasing.
    We tried building some fallen dry stone walls once on a piece of land we have. They have fallen down again!

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    1. I've done a bit myself. Some whilst installing cut stone windows that I'd made, and other bits of ordinary garden work. All are still standing.

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  5. Beautiful craftsmanship.

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    1. Not a 'dying art' as many claim, but one needs to look around for one's 'artist'.

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  6. Dry stone walling by the look. Excellent work. There are some who can still do it in Australia. In the west of our state is a lot of basalt which was extensively used as paddock fences. Much is in disrepair, but some has been restored.

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    1. It's 90% 'dry wall', with just the hint of mortar at the back, binding it all together.

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  7. A thing of beauty, artistry like this has its own language.

    LX

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    1. I admire it every time I walk, or drive, past.

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  8. I don’t think that they cement traditional stone walls here. Your neighbours looks beautiful but I think I will be long gone by the time he finishes 🤣 !!! XXXX

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    1. He's certainly taking his time. Maybe he comes all the way from Spain when he turns up!

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  9. Is this the container port neighbour?

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    1. No, this is my immediate neighbour about 100 metres away.

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  10. Here in the Lake district the dry-stone walls are prevalent, no mortar and usually of slate, a real skill (or art) to their construction. Even some traditional houses were built of slate, their strength and stability relying on interlocking the pieces of stone.

    Sadly many of the walls fallen into disrepair and holes temporarily fixed with barbed wire fencing which often becomes permanent.

    There are still a few craftsmen who can repair / rebuild this type of wall, but not many.

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    1. I expect the craftsmanship is still there (it's not THAT difficult); it's the money that's lacking. A good wall takes time; and time is money.

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  11. It looks beautiful. My village is known for its flint and old flint walls abound. A few years ago we had a small section rebuilt by two stonemasons - a father and son team - and it took weeks and cost thousands. Homeowners are now seeking to emulate the look and this is how they do it: build a breeze block wall and cement on flints randomly. The result as you can imagine looks awful. It all comes back to if a job is worth doing it’s worth doing well and if you cannot afford the real thing then please plant a native hedge.

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    1. Being a Sussex lad, I know exactly what you mean. An old flint building, of whatever style, is a thing of real beauty. The worst is when the repair is in the middle of a wall, and some fool does a quick cheap infill; it looks dreadful.

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  12. It sounds like a dyker behaves the same all over the world!
    Beautiful work

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    1. A good man; worthy of the term 'Craftsman'.

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  13. I often show visitors some of the dry stone walls near where I live. The Cornish miners built them in the Nineteenth century and they have their familiar 'basket weave/herring bone style pattern of construction.

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    1. A well laid stone wall should last for centuries. Sadly they often don't.

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  14. My hubby is a trained and experienced dry-stone wall builder (used to work for the National Trust). He couldn't make a decent living from it unfortunately so just does it as a side-line. We live about an hour from the Peak District - lots of the walls there are falling down - such a shame!

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    1. As I said above, it's not the lack of craftsmen; it's the lack of funds!

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  15. As long as he is not being paid by the hour, the homeowners should be very happy.

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    1. That's what I was wondering. He doesn't seem in a hurry.

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  16. Mending Wall
    BY ROBERT FROST

    Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
    That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
    And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
    And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
    The work of hunters is another thing:
    I have come after them and made repair
    Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
    But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
    To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
    No one has seen them made or heard them made,
    But at spring mending-time we find them there.
    I let my neighbour know beyond the hill;
    And on a day we meet to walk the line
    And set the wall between us once again.
    We keep the wall between us as we go.
    To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
    And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
    We have to use a spell to make them balance:
    "Stay where you are until our backs are turned!"
    We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
    Oh, just another kind of out-door game,
    One on a side. It comes to little more:
    There where it is we do not need the wall:
    He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
    My apple trees will never get across
    And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
    He only says, "Good fences make good neighbours."
    Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
    If I could put a notion in his head:
    "Why do they make good neighbours? Isn't it
    Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
    Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
    What I was walling in or walling out,
    And to whom I was like to give offence.
    Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
    That wants it down." I could say "Elves" to him,
    But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
    He said it for himself. I see him there
    Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
    In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
    He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
    Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
    He will not go behind his father's saying,
    And he likes having thought of it so well
    He says again, "Good fences make good neighbours."

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    1. Thank you Marion; I hadn't seen that before.

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  17. We had a stone wall built in one of our houses. Looked very much like this one above, It was the so beautiful and I sat by it all the time.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. My first home here had a huge stone barn, and I used to stand for ages looking at the back wall; it was pure art work.

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  18. As I am sure you know Cro I live in a real stone wall area here in the Yorkshire Dales. I would agree with you that your stone wall in the photograph is a real work of art - and the colours are so beautiful = much more varied colours that in our walls here.

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    1. I remember the stone walls in Wales. They were very beautiful, but very different. Our stone work here is often like a jigsaw puzzle.

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