Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Dry stone walling at Allan Bank, Grasmere

Over the last couple of weeks we've started work on the exciting new project at Allan Bank in Grasmere. There's loads of work for us to get our teeth into at Allan Bank, but our first job was to improve access into the gardens for some heavy machinery.

We need to improve the access as part of the restoration work involves removing a lot of Rhododendron and re-instating an old gravel path that has been lost under the vegetation. Our work involved opening up a gateway and widening the entrance to the walled garden, so that it'd be possible to get through with a tracked chipper and a mini-digger.

The wall needing to be rebuilt to improve access

We were fortunate that there was a section of wall built up to the walled garden, that had been added to narrow the entrance way, that we were wanting to widen. As it was a later addition and in bad repair it was decided that we could use this section of wall for our repairs.

Old section of wall that we used as a stone source

We immediately set about stripping down the wall that had to altered and taking down the old wall for it's stone. We soon ended up with a big pile of rock which was roughly sorted into different stone piles...standard walling stone, stone for the wall top (coping stones), stone for the end of the wall (the coin end), larger "through" stones and small stone for packing out the middle of the wall.

Taking down the wall to be rebuilt

 After the end of the first day we'd completely taken down the section of wall we were working on and extended it out. This gave us the few extra centimetres that we needed to get the machinery in.

Starting to take shape

By the end of the second day we'd finished rebuilding the wall, and it was time to put the top stones in place and as you can see from the tracks in the photo below...plenty of room to get the digger through.

The Finished Wall

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