Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Dry Stone Walls

I am sharing with you here,
 some photos of the wonderful stone walls in Cumbria, UK.
  I love the tradition and craftsmanship involved in the making of these walls, 
and the beautiful colours and textures
 that the moss and lichen add to the stone.

According to the Dry Stone Walling Association, "dry stone walling in Britain stretches back at least three and a half millennia, to the village of Skara Brae in the Orkneys, and the Iron Age brochs of northern and western Scotland. 

Dry stone walls are found in Britain, and elsewhere, where large quantities of rock and stone are found above the soil, and especially where trees and hedges do not grow easily because of the climate, elevation, strong winds or thin soils.  This is why dry stone walls are most prominent in northern and western Britain, and often at the higher altitudes." 

 You wonder about the people who made these walls so long ago.

 A lone crow surveys his world.
They reach way up the mountainsides, 
and along once narrow tracks which are now well used roads.  
Beware meeting a tourist bus when you are just inches from these walls!
These last two photos show a wall which has long stones
 set into the wall to make steps.
They stretch right through the wall as you can see from this photo taken from above including my foot!  Do you notice the tremble?  
I did not feel too steady!!

  • What is the traditional form of hedging/fencing/ walling in your area?
  • And what do you love about it? 
  • There are so many different types aren't there? 
  • Would love you to leave a comment and let us know. 
And by the way, if you love these walls take a look at the work of 
Andy Goldsworthy who works with nature to sculpt beautiful walls like these with the addition of large amounts of creative flair.  Thanks to Julie Gibbons from Tractor Girl for alerting me to Mr. Goldsworthy's incredible artworks.  He has written a book called Wall, which shows walls using similar traditional techniques as those above, and really looks a fascinating read.


  1. Oh thank you so much Deb. I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

  2. Hello there!
    Thanks for your comment on my blog today. I would love to visit UK once again to explore the countryside and I know from mags and books and these images of yours it's gorgeous. Those walls covered with moss are really exquisite. I do wonder how long they took to build them.

  3. Me too! There certainly are a lot of them reaching way up the mountainsides where you would think no self respecting sheep would want to go! I wonder where in the UK you went to? I know more about the top half, not so much south of Lincolnshire. But there's so much to see wherever you go:)

  4. The walls that you have taken photos are wonderful. I love the moss and the colors too. Where I live the fencing most used is barbed wire, nothing too pretty about that.

    1. That depends, Dawn. They can be beautiful if they have dew or spiders webs, or wool attached to them:) I might put up a few photos to change your mind!

    2. Hi Dawn, just to let you know I posted a barbed wire fence pic to my face book page if you'd like to take a look:)

  5. Bonjour Jane..I love your post about the dry stone walls and the Lakes District. We were there only last year....isn't it beautiful. So fresh, so tranquil....glorious and inspirational. We stayed at Holbeck Ghyll Country House.....I thought I had died and gone to Heaven!!! Merci beaucoup for your lovely comment on my blog. A bientot.

  6. Merci beaucoup for dropping by and for your lovely comments too! The Lake District is a very special place and I look forward to posting more about that lovely area. I will have a look to see where Holbeck Ghyll is. Sounds a bit of alright!

  7. Hello Dear Jane, It looks like you are having a marvelous trip. One of the things that I have loved most about photographs of this part of the world, are these beautiful walls going through the lovely green hillsides and pastures. Your photos are charming and I love the stepping stones going over the walls . . . how cool is that. You be careful, we do not want to see a post of you with a cast on your arm or leg. Those walls look like they could get slippery. Enjoy your trip, Connie :)

  8. Oh thank you so much for caring about my safety Connie, you are very sweet, but don't worry, I returned safely and I'm actually back in Australia now. The time went far too quickly and it was sad to say goodbye to Mum but I have many photo memories, and thank goodness for phone, email and skype!

    1. Dear Jane, you say the sweetest things, and it just encourages me to do my very best. I appreciate your friendship and will never forget how happy you made me the day you became my 50th followers.
      I am delighted that you are safely home, and that your trip was a sweet one. I know that your time with your Mum was precious.
      You are the best! Connie :)


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