Posted in Blog, HOUSE & GARDEN, House Renovation

The Courtyard Wall—Stage 2—2009

First arch stones left hand side in placeIn the 2 year interval since starting the wall—see post Stage 1—a lot of work had been completed on the ruined end of the property, as you can see in the photo above. It is no longer a ruin, but we were yet to move into it! I’d continued to add to the wall off and on, an hour here, a morning there, throughout these two years, until the point came when I needed to clear the courtyard of all the mix of rubble, and stone that had accumulated. It was time to crack on with the wall and get the archway underway.

First Arch stone in placeCrane lifting the first stoneHaving the crane obviously makes a huge difference to what one can achieve safely and quickly, especially when working alone. The control module for the crane—at the end of 20m of heavy cable—is used on the ground and occasionally Denise used the controls whilst I steadied the stones and gave her instructions to position the stone exactly. The crane had just enough reach but at its maximum extension, heavy weights do tend to ‘bounce’ a little due to the jib flexing under the load. Can be quite exciting at times!

3 Arch Stones in place

Posted in Blog, HOUSE & GARDEN, House Renovation

The Courtyard Wall—Stage 1—April 2005

Started rebuilding the stone boundary wall by clearing the ground to lay down the foundation stones. The original wall had once been considerably higher but was now in a very poor state, unstable and overgrown with ivy. It looked a mess, so we demolished all but the final metre in the corner.

For classic dry-stone walling, you normally lay “The Double” and place smaller ‘locking’ stones between them in the middle of the wall. The Double refers to the two largish, flatish stones, one laid on the exterior side, the other on the interior. For the foundation, I often simply utilize very large stones that fill the whole width, circa 80cm, of the shallow foundation trench. There is no need to use any cement or lime mortar at any stage in the construction of a “dry” wall. Provided you abide by a couple of simple rules, and take care and attention, your wall will outlast you, your children, and their children’s children.

And those two simple rules?

Two on One and One on Two
All stones touching all neighbouring stones.