Thursday, 17 September 2009

Gibb's Island: Stone Wall

I have spent most of the day on Gibb's Island, which is located on Strangford Lough beside Delamont Country Park in County Down.

There is an old dry stone wall there, which runs from the shore at one side of the island to the other side. It is badly dilapidated, with decades of neglect; overgrown with brambles and briar; and tons of stones have fallen to the ground at each side. This is laborious work, because the stones have been sunken deep into the ground by the hooves of heavy cattle and other livestock.

We used crow-bars and pick-axes to dig the surrounding ground and extract the stones; or, at least, a few tons of them. This is a project that will probably take a year or more to complete. It depends on how many people we can get, including volunteers, to assist us.

We lunched at the shore overlooking my beloved Salt Island in the distance. I could see the sheep grazing in a field, in fact. Today I had home-made salmon sandwiches; and I'd brought a few boxes of jam doughnuts for us all to munch on, which were surprisingly good. I'd bought them in Sainsbury's yesterday. I lent Craig a book about dry stone walling by Andy Radford.

This evening, despite my fatigue, I still had time for twenty lengths of the swimming-pool.

Now I can relax.


Peregrine's Bird Blog said...

I am the closest house to Salt Island on the South Shore. I look straight out onto it.

Timothy Belmont said...

Would that be the townland of Ringbane? We'll be on Salt next Wednesday. General maintenance. Craig usually collects me at Killyleagh on the boat.

They've had a good year on Salt, with many youth groups etc staying.

I heard that there was once a kind of causeway between the slipway on the mainland and Salt at low tides. Presumably that was ages ago...

Peregrine's Bird Blog said...

Our Townland is Russel's Quarter North. If you sit at the front door of the Bothy on salt island and look straight my house is the yellow painted one.

Your latest post is interesting as one of my wifes gt gt grandparents was a tutor to the Bangor's in the mid 1800's and is buried in Ballyculter Graveyard!

Timothy Belmont said...

Rest assured that I'll be looking over at your house next Wednesday!

Thanks about the latest post. These things fascinate me, too. My late father was acquainted with the Rev W E Kennedy, perhaps through County Down scouting or something like that. He lived at the rectory, a substantial enough dwelling on the other side of the road beyond the chapel.
I imagine it is now the old rectory; I have a feeling that the CoI sold it.