Monday, May 25, 2009

Walls Again

I know they've featured on this blog before and oh look, here they are again, I can't resist them. No dry stone wall is safe from my lingering gaze or my camera lens. Look at this one, near Boot in Eskdale, Cumbria. Gorgeous!

Why do I love them so much? Perhaps because they are such a crucial feature of some of my favourite countryside in the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District, often used to keep sheep out. Or in.

Amy, 85, who lives in Barrow-in-Furness and who has done a fair amount of dry-stone-wall building and repairing in her time, says that when you're building them, you must always just pick up the next stone you come to and make it fit. You must never put it down again and look for a better one, or that's all you'll do all day.

That makes sense to me - I can see that otherwise you'd just be searching for the perfect stone to fill this particular gap. And I think you can see, looking at the wall above, how they've done just that. The overall effect of all these stones at jaunty angles is, to me, delightful.

Here's another one, in Yorkshire this time.

It is by the Church of St Michael and St Lawrence, Fewston, North Yorkshire. The parish is called Fewston with Blubberhouses - - great name, eh? There's been a church on the site for hundreds of years and I think this nearby wall has been here for a long while too, though the stones are a bit neater than in the Lake District wall.

Wherever you find dry stone walls, you'll find great scenery around them. And - unlike many man-made objects - I don't think that they detract from the scenery at all - they fit in well and become part of it.


Blogger Kippers Dickie said...

I am a Dry Stone Waller,
All day day, I dry stone wall:
Of all appalling callings,
Dry stone walling's worst of all!

Hat-tip....Pam Ayres

8:06 pm  
Blogger Jennyta said...

I think they're brilliant and it must take real skill to do it well.

8:23 pm  
Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

I am also a great fan of drystone walls. Some of them are incredibly old. I love the way plants will sometimes find niches in them but most of all I love the intricate yet random nature of the joins - often amazingly tight - testament to the patient farmers and craftsmen who built these ecologically friendly boundaries. Wire fences seem like cheating - a swift modern day alternative that will not last through the centuries... I will soon post in my own blog about drystone walls. You have inspired me.

12:24 pm  
Blogger rhymeswithplague said...

Stone walls do not a prison make,
Nor iron bars a cage....

2:13 pm  
Blogger Debby said...

One of my favorite things over there.....

3:05 pm  
Blogger disa said...


7:07 pm  

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