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13 November 2014

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Great Yorkshire Show

You are in: North Yorkshire > Places > Great Yorkshire Show > Wall to wall

Wall to wall

A dry stone wall is a remarkable feat of engineering! The Yorkshire Dry Stone Walling Guild will be demonstrating the craft at this year's Great Yorkshire Show. Find out more about these eye catching structures...

Dry stone wall and stiles

The dry stone wall and stiles

The English countryside is criss-crossed by field boundaries making it look like a patchwork quilt. The Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors are no exception and the landscape is dominated by dry stone walls.

Dry stone walling is an old craft which marks the boundaries between fields and parcels of land. The walls are built without using any cement jointing and the walls blend in with the surroundings, providing shelter and habitat for a wide range of animals and insects.

Dry stone wall

This one has just been repaired.

They can last for more than a lifetime and need repairing and preserving. However, far from the craft of dry stone walling dying out, it is alive and kicking all over the county.

The Yorkshire Dry Stone Walling Guild (YDSWG) was founded 20 years or so ago and is dedicated to the craft.

It is a voluntary, non-profit making organisation with around 130 members. Their aim is to preserve the walls and the skills involved in building and maintaining them. It also encourages an interest in the history of dry stone walls.

Brian Wood, affectionately known as 'Woody', is the secretary of the YDSWG and he told us about their involvement with the Great Yorkshire Show.

Couple with baby

A handy seat for mum!

"Last year we finished a wall we were building around the pond near the showground's Brown Gate by including two forms of stile in the build.

"One is a traditional step over version in stone with big solid slabs of stone to form the steps. The second is made from timber in the fashion used by the National Park in the Yorkshire Dales.

"The actual build around the side of the pond took four shows to complete and also includes a stone seat, a gateway and a sheep creep as features. The seat was used to good effect during the Great Yorkshire Show as a baby feeding station!

"In 2009 we are rebuilding the damaged wall between the Young Farmers and adjacent Askham Bryan College buildings.

"The Guild hopes to have another site on the ground for a new build of our own starting in 2010. We look forward to meeting all our enthusiasts again and hope you will lay a stone or two as you have done in the past."

Yorkshire Dales

The Yorkshire Dales

Now concentrate - here comes the science bit!

  • A typical Yorkshire dry stone wall is tapered.
  • The base is half the width of the height and twice the width of the top.
  • As the wall settles on the ground it strengthens itself and tightens up.

last updated: 16/06/2009 at 17:44
created: 05/07/2007

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