06 May 2015

I have built many different walls with many different types of stone. Here in the Lake District, where I live, I have often said you can take me blindfolded and show me any dry stone wall in the Lakes and I will tell you where we are.

There are not many rules to my art of dry stone walling.

You should only use the stone you have got, unless more is available very close to the wall.

You should lay all your stone lengthwise into the wall, unless you can't.

Always cross joints unless you can't. One stone upon 2, or 2 stones on one, unless the stone you are putting on is wider than the 2 below, or the stones you are putting onto the one are a lot smaller in which case use as many as you need.

Build the wall in horizontal courses if the stone allows, and random if it doesn't.

When wedging up the stones in the face of the wall only wedge from inside the wall, and always only use a minimum of wedges, the bigger the better. Use filling stones in the centre of the wall to hold in the wedges and always use the biggest stone filling as the wall will allow. Never ever use gravel to fill any wall anywhere, even if that is the only type of filling you have.

Place throughs as and where they will go, and be of the most use.

Always place cams (topstones,copes) on top of the wall, and never use in the wall until you know you have enough for the wall.

How-ever a wall is built, how it is built depends on the type/size//shape/geological properties of stone being used and where and why it is being built.

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