Part 58: Lovely Old Stone Walls

Colin Ella - Part 58 - Dry stone walls.
Colin Ella - Part 58 - Dry stone walls.

The scenery of our lovely country is greatly enhanced by those areas which have all those miles and miles of lovely old dry-stone walls, stretching up hill and down dale with an air of timelessness like the landscape itself.

In fact, apart from a few Romano-British and Medieval examples, these structures are really quite recent with a history of roughly a little over 200 years.

These walls are more practical than hedges and the considerable skill needed in the placing of the stones makes an extremely durable barrier.

We may see many of them as little more than higgledy piggledy divisions of loose stones but how wrong we would be. I find them very aesthetic and attractive, pleasing to the eye, and so warm and enhancing features of already wonderful scenic locations.

These age long structures do need maintenance and we have the National Dry-stone Walling Association which does so much to keep them in good order.

Farmers and numerous other volunteers all play their part in repairing them and in building new ones that can be guaranteed to last a lifetime.

More and more people are taking an interest in this ancient craft and the various branches of the drystone walling association often hold competitions and championships in this skill.

Many young folk try it and anyone can have a go at some of our country shows.

All this is very promising and they are doing much to let us all enjoy these memorable features of our glorious landscapes.

Next week in Part 59 - The Big Band Sound.