Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Tullyratty: Dry Stone Walling

Today was a Field Day for me. I drove southwards to a townland, very close to the Castle Ward estate in County Down, called Tullyratty (right). It's beautiful and picturesque, a vernacular, old, ruinous farm with a stone wall running along the lane.

There were about nine of us re-constructing an ancient dry stone wall. It is quite an art, somewhat akin to assembling a jigsaw puzzle. It's probably a craft that, with practice and experience, some people would have an aptitude for.

At lunchtime, we drove a short distance into Castle Ward and had our packed lunches in the staff kitchen near the stable-yard.

We began clearing up at four-thirty and I got home within the hour. Having whacked a pizza into the oven, we enjoyed a quick meal with coleslaw; followed by sticky toffee pudding and cream!

I still managed to get up to the old school for six o'clock and my customary sixty lengths.


Anonymous said...

I always fancied trying to build or repair a dry stone wall. Perhaps having a stone mason way back in my ancestry has given me the yen!

Timothy Belmont said...

It's quite a time-consuming job. A lot of stone walls use mortar nowadays; the dry ones are a lot more intricate, using little stones to prop up, or support, the bigger rocks or boulders.