By Mitchell Fawcett
Devon Rural Skills Trust held a stone walling course on Saturday the 26th of September run by Jeremy Weiss. On a sunny ‘perfect September day’ we arrived at Buckland in the Moor to learn and develop skills in granite stone walling. Once getting to the top of the hill on site, the clear day gave way to stunning views with a warm early autumnal light. A well-earned reward for tackling the hill.
After going through a brief of what was going to be completed that day and health and safety, we cleared back a working space, slashing back bracken, removing stone and pulling up fences so that we could get access to the wall. We slowly took down the wall , sorting through stone and placing them behind a 3 ft. line to give good space to work in, or as far as they could be rolled up and down.
Once getting to the bottom we had to establish a foundation for the wall, looking for largest of rocks with a good surface to build on, this process of moving and placing large rock took us way up until mid-day, hopefully trying to use the largest of rocks without moving them too far. The foundation building was the most challenging part, trying to find ‘through stones’ to hold the wall together.
Once the foundation was down it was easier to fit smaller stones but still challenging to think about each individually stone finding it a solid home. Some rocks defiantly did not want to be placed and some left out altogether, but with many different eyes on each stone, looking and calculating positions, the wall was built. There were cuts and rolls but no lost fingers , and over all a great day out, highly recommended, beautiful scenery, lovely weather, great people and a truly hands on experience.