Tuesday, June 14, 2011

To Aran is human

Our first attempt at building in a style similar to what we were seeing on the Aran Islands ended up looking like this. We were not happy with the results and thought we could do it better iusing the same stones again and building it a second time incorporating the things we figured we had learned. The beauty of dry stone construction is that you can take down and rebuild without a lot of bother
Fifty minutes later we had disassembled and rebuilt our experimental dry stone wall and had made some very noticeable improvements on the first attempt

Some of the key elements to walling this way seem to include leaving each stone fitted with a flat end up. Use big long stones upright spaced fairly evenly along the wall. (often these are dotted through the wall in a regular pattern which Patrick likes to call stitching) Every stone should be a through stone, basically creating a 'single' wall. Try not to place stones horizontally in the wall except when building cheek ends. Level off the top so that it is perfectly flat. Make sure there is a slight batter to the wall, even though some individual stones may have to be recessed or left sticking out a bit.