Ashton Park dry stone wall

Falling in love with dry stone walls

I’ve always loved the look and feel of dry stone walls. But when I finally had a place to build one, my budget was never going to extend to having someone do it for me.

Luckily, as an archaeologist I had dug up a few, and pulled a few apart.  I did some research, found some stone and thought I may as well give it a go. After all, if I didn’t succeed the first time, I could take it down and start again.

Guess what – cattle appreciate dry stone walls too

And the cattle find it very entertaining.

I made a lot of mistakes on my first few metres – but gradually I got the hang of locking stones together. I built the first ten metres outside the cattle fence – so that if they got through my wall, there was still another barrier!

But I needn’t have worried – two years later and its still standing and the cattle love having something to rub on. Sometimes I think they play games knocking the odd one off the top.  I just tidy up after them from time to time.

They are like a big 3D jigsaw

Friends started asking if they could join me to learn how to build a dry stone wall. It was great to have some company.  And it is pretty addictive – like a big three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle.

If I’m on my own, I just put on an audio-book and enjoy the fresh air and the challenge.

It’s amazing what you can lift once you get warmed up – but sometimes for the big stones I use the winch on the farm truck.

The art of dry stone walls

Dry stones walls are a beautiful, natural part of life for thousands of years of hard working farmers.

I love the way British artist Andy Goldsworthy OBE has taken this traditional art and pushed it to new frontiers by finding ways to cantilever, curve and turn stone in ways that defy gravity.

Source: Andy Goldsworthy cairn mymodernmet

Sign for Ashton Park Address

Ashton Park

6077 Illawarra Highway
Moss Vale NSW 2577
+ 61 427 203 402

Ashton Park Address in the heart of the Southern Highlands