Dry Stone Walls
Traditional country crafts keep the Cotswolds beautiful.
Fortunately, recently care is being taken to keep the disappearing art of
Dry Stone Walling and other rural skills alive. See ruralskills.org
Excerpt from Cotswolds Memoir:
Discovering a Beautiful Region of Britain on a Quest to Buy a 17th Century Cottage.
(Available on Amazon in Paperback, Kindle & Audio Book)
During the hike, we came across a farmer repairing a dry stone wall. These walls are characteristic of the Cotswold region and add enormously to the beauty of the landscape. Made from the local honey-coloured stone without any kind of mortar, they are assembled like giant jigsaw puzzles. We watched, fascinated, as the farmer took pieces of jagged, uneven stone and fitted them together perfectly as he talked. I asked how he did it so expertly.
‘Mainly by feel,’ he answered in his broad country accent. He was a great old character and he gave a terrific impromptu talk on dry stone walling.
‘Its limestone, see, and we gather the stones from all around when we rebuild like this. After you do it for a while, you even know where the stones come from by their colour. See this one in my hand? Now that’s from Guiting, and that one – that’s from Oddington. These walls don’t just divide the fields; they provide shelter for small birds, toads, frogs and insects. They have all sorts growing in between the stones too. Wild flowers, herbs, berries – you name it. Why, I wouldn’t be surprised if there weren’t a few Roman coins in there too.’
New! Cotswolds Memoir is now available as an AudioBook in addition to Paperback and Kindle