Friday, 23 July 2010

Drystone walls

One of the most obvious features of the Yorkshire Dales landscape is the numerous limestone drystone walls that snake across the land. These are often very old, built of stones without any mortar. They can look as though they are just a pile of stones thrown together, but in fact there is a lot of skill involved in building drystone walls. Some of them have holes for livestock to move through - small bolt holes for rabbits, larger 'cripple holes' for sheep. These walls criss-cross the valley floor in Upper Wharfedale and some extend right up the valley sides. Around Kettlewell, there is evidence of an Iron Age (approx 499 BC - 71 AD) co-axial field system - long field boundaries that run from the valley bottom right up to the high limestone plateau.... though most of these walls are more like 150 - 200 years old.

15 comments:

  1. We also have drystone walls around here; But they are looking different, even if the idea is the same: they seem simple, but they are a kind of very special technology.And all of them are very old and still standing!

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  2. Whow! Dertbyshire ahs them too around Maccelsfield.Here around our Macclesfield we have them too although not as old.

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  3. The drystone walls really make the northern countryside so special.

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  4. A typical landmark of Yorkshire. It is hard to believe how much work went into these without machinery.

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  5. My father was an amateur dry stone waller and our old garden was full of his creations. I remember as a child watching him shape and match the stones.

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  6. I love reading about stuff that's so old and so historical. I would love to visit England. The history fascinates me. And it's so....o.l.d. :)

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  7. These walls are fantastic! You can find walls built this way in northern Portugal and the Azores Archipelago too.

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  8. I can only imagine the labor that went into building those. Amazing. I loved the photos from both today and yesterday showing these walls. How peaceful, calming and beautiful.

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  9. lovely place..full of colors and peaceful! regards

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  10. You have a wonderful scene here with the walls and wild flowers. It was such a resourceful way to get the rocks picked up and then also have fences too.

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  11. How beautiful and intriguing! I never would have guessed that so much thought went into a fence built out of a pile of rocks! :o)

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  12. Amazing that they are still there! Such an interesting history. I like the flowers in your picture too.

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  13. I feel lucky if my fence lasts 10 years. I'd enjoy visiting this area. Pretty picture with some great history.

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  14. I've always been fascinated by these walls. It's so telling of the landscape there, and very beautiful. Of course, the history is amazing to me.

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  15. So pretty the lavender flowers against all that gorgeous stone! ~Lili

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