A common reason for dry stone walls to fail is subsidence caused by soil erosion. Each time a sheep, goat, cow or human takes a step, a small amount of soil is moved down the hill and over the years this can begin to expose the footings of the wall and allow for animals to burrow under. Soon the foundation stones begin to sink and the wall starts to teeter…
Our task upon returning to Netherton, was to rebuild a section of wall where this process was beginning, and another section where the wall had collapsed completely.
We began by dismantling the old quoin and widening the gateway. This would then provide us with extra stone for repairing the other section. The quoin was reintstated stone by stone using some lovely rounded stones.
The next section was more of a challenge. With the very narrow road on one side, and a steep drop on the other it was very hard work getting the stones up the bank and on to the wall. But after much huffing, puffing, and a fair bit of healthy swearing, we got the job done.