Cob building at Velwell Orchard

By Gavin Young

Velwell Orchard was a picturesque setting for the cob walling course early in June where a small group prepared to learn how to source, mix and lay mass cob and cob bricks.
The weather was fine as Jeremy took us through the stages of digging out the clay and subsoil that was to be the main ingredient for our cob. We kept our wellies on to mix it all together – this can be done bare foot, but we didn’t fancy taking on the sharp shillet fragments unprotected.
After we had produced our cob, we made patties which we applied to the wall and then used our feet again to stamp it down. Another method of cob walling is to make cob bricks in a mould. We made some fine bricks and laid a few, completing the job with some cob mortar which we made by crushing and sieving a dried portion of the cob mix.
Undeterred by the early afternoon rain, we all enjoyed learning a new skill and were pleased with the progress we made on our piece of cob wall.
The next course is Dry Stone Walling at Higher Badworthy on the 17th of June with Dave Dingle.

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