Plants, Stone, California Landscapes


Posts Tagged ‘old town wall’

Angled Dry Stone Walls

SF Flower and Garden Show

Old Town Patio Stone

I wanted to post a few more photos of the freestanding wall from the garden show. I haven’t seen many walls with the courses running at an angle, and none quite like this one. To lay the stones at an angle goes against the “rules” I learned about building walls, but, apparently, stoneworkers have been doing it in Cornwall for centuries. The Cornish call their walls “hedges”, and do things like cover them with sod, and they have a whole tradition of stacking slate vertically or at an angle. Their slate doesn’t support weight well when stacked horizontally, so they turn it on its edge, which makes a certain amount of sense; I’ve worked with slate which would crumble from a single hammer blow across the flat, but could withstand repeated blows against the narrow edge. The Guild of Cornish Hedgers has a collection of photos including some walls built with a herringbone pattern. I particularly like this one with stiles for climbing over it. There’s a photo on a blog here and another photo in the Cornish collection in the Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain gallery.

the courses, rotated

the courses, with my camera rotated

Through the magic of turning the camera sideways, you can see that the wall is built with courses like a traditional wall, just that the courses run at an angle.

old town patio stone

transition from traditional to angled

The horizontally laid stones of the arch set the angle for the slanted courses. A lot of the wall’s weight is going to be pushing against those horizontal courses and against that arch, but arches are strong and the wall could have stood for a lot longer than the five days of the garden show. Now it only exists in memories and photos.

The Dry Stone Walling Association of Canada has more photos of the wall on their site, and photos of another angled wall they built for a garden show in Canada last year.

WallsWithoutMortar has photos of another angled wall built in Danville, here.

I stuck a couple of detail photos of the arch below. (more…)