Dry stone walls

Over the last few weeks – in our “other life” travelling with young Americans through Europe – we have criss-crossed the continent from Nice to Dublin, Rome to Budapest, Athens to Paris.  During my travels I attuned my eyes to look more closely at the dry stone walls which divide the European countryside or retain terraces.  This is all in the hope that it will  give me some inspiration for the reconstruction of our garden wall at Les Sarziers.

Here is the ultimate craftmanship of wall building at Delphi, the Polygonal wall of 548 BC.

Polygonal wall at Delphi

 As Arlebosc is far from being the navel of the universe, this wall would look a bit out of place.  Maybe  the type of wall seen in Ireland  (below) would do better for our garden.  The gaps are there to avoid the wall being blown over by gusts of wind, or – as the locals say – to allow the cows to check that the grass is not greener on the other side.

Irish windy wall

 Here is another Irish wall just a few miles away.  This looks more like the challenge we have to deal with in the Ardèche. There is no stone of the same size and shape.

Irish wall

 In the Ardèche we may do things upside down, but I believe we are still the best stone wall builders.  Here is an example just below the church in Arlebosc.

Arlebosc wall

Learned anything?  I am not sure.

Markus on the wall

2 thoughts on “Dry stone walls

  1. Hoi Maeggi, interessante Trockenmauern! Nice Fotos, I especially like the walls with the holes I would think that makes them less stable – never seen that style before. I should send you some fotos of the dry stacked walls around here. The old walls in Jerome were very often built by Italians – they were considered the best wall builders. Glad you are able to relax some – and think about your own wall! Love,  Hanna

     

  2. What a fascinating collection. We walked along a sunken lane in Hampshire two days ago with its sides shored up with the most beautiful dry walling. Obviously very old and quite broken down in places, but extending far above head height and covered with rich, green moss.
    Unfortunately my camera was inside a pocket of a jacket which was tightly-rolled in my back-pack, so I didn’t stop to get it out!

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