Thursday, September 15, 2016

A little known dry stone treasure.

After being told about it by a passerby at the Clayton Workshop I taught last weekend, Brian, Tom and I took the opportunity to visit an unusual property which had an impressively large horse barn, with ten stalls and a riding arena, all of which were built by one man all and completely dry stone construction !

Marjy, who lives in an historic stone farm house on the property near Clayton N. Y. greeted us and after we explained our connection with dry stone walling kindly showed us around the impressive stone structures built by her late husband Richard Chamberlin . Here she is standing on the stone stairs her husband built to the viewing area over the tack room.

The stone stalls had pillars and walls separating them nearly four feet thick

Apparently all the stones Richard used to build the barn (thousands of tons) were collected mostly from the Chamberlin's property and the rest was gathered (perhaps from an older fallen down barn) about a mile away.

The riding arena attached to the horse barn also had dry stone walls on all sides.

Detail of how rings for hitching horses were incorporated into the walls.

Five of the stalls led directly to the outside loafing area.

Marjy showed us a photo of how the dry stone arena looked in 1994

For many of the walls Richard used the hay elevator for carrying each individual stone up.

She explained that Richard also built up stone columns in temporarily ascending heights and then with planks on them walked up with wheelbarrow loads of stone to facilitate building the  higher walls and gables.

I asked to see a better photo of the man who accomplished such an amazing amount of stone work and Marjy found this photo of  Richard who is seen here with his son not long after the barn was completed in 1992 . He started it in1990

Parts of the barn are still in very good condition while other sections have begun to lean and deteriorate 


  1. Amazing Talent! What a labour of stone love!!!

  2. Interesting, Scott from NY told me about it and was going to search it out on my way back from Perth, but in the end ran out of time.