Saturday, August 7, 2010

Stone Story part 15


It was a long time after the storm before anyone came along to inspect the damage to the wall. It was even longer before they came back to begin to repair it.

The original wall, like all the others in the valley had been built some hundred and fifty years ago by local farmers using the same glacial till that had for thousands of years been deposited at base of the fell. The rocks that the landslide brought along looked like the ones in the wall except that they were scoured and less mossy. There were many more fresh breaks and split stones too. Michael and Hannah noted that they were not the only twos.

All the walls in this area of Cumbria were built not just as borders for fields to contain livestock but also just to use up the tremendous volume of rock material. Many of them were built extra wide to accommodate the thousands of tons of unwanted stones laying in the fields. Now that the deluge was over there were parts of the some fields where there were a lot more rocks to deal with again.

The men began their work without speaking.

Most of the stones had to be moved out of the way. It took the better part of the day to do this.
The builder stones were sorted and while they did this smaller stones and the hearting material was organized. The majority of rocks were roundish and not much bigger than the size of a football. This is not great material for building textbook walls. The style of farm walls in this region didn't even really have copes. The smaller stones were generally just laid on the top.

As the rebuilding the wall began Rhonda and the Squire were impressed to see that there was no chipping or hammering going on. The only noise they could hear was the clunking sound of rock on rock.
"I like them" The squire said. "They know what they're doing."

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