This is an example the many walls you find in Rappahannock County. (Note the scale and width is fairly traditional.)
I had known about and seen many of the dry stone walls of New England and Tennessee but had no idea how many there were in Virginia. It was amazing. They were all over Rappahannock County, beautiful old walls made of local stone and with lots of interesting styles and features. It seems strange that so few people seem to know about these walls and that to my knowledge no books have been written about them.
After several months of having an excavator full time on his own property John Henry wrote to tell me he had uncovered and dislodged enough bedrock and loose stone material to build a lot of walls. (He had in fact dug a quarry size hole on his property.)
I kept getting cryptic email messages about how his wall building was going.
It went something like this. - We have tons and tons of stones. We've started building a practise wall through the forest along the northern boundary of the property. I don't want to do the south wall until I get better at building.
The next letter went - The wall is coming along fine. It has started to get wide. I kind of like it.
Another letter left me wondering what was going on. - The wall is about 10 or 12 feet wide now in parts and is taking up a lot of material. It's a good thing I have lots of it.
I checked with him if he didn't mean 10 or 12 feet long?
"Nope , in fact it must be nearly 30 feet wide now along one part and I figure that I wont fill it in but sort of let it have a kind of rounded open area in the middle of the wall. The wall has a few of these enclosed areas now along its length.
I couldn't imagine what he was talking about.
Then he sent me a photo.
I was amazed.
Last week Mary and I had to go see for ourselves .