We returned to Craighall Den in mid October to continue the wall begun in July. On Saturday there were five members working alongside five Countryside Trust Volunteers with Calum instructing.
By Sunday members had reduced to two under the supervision of Robert Thomson. The trainees started to extend the existing boundary wall, which we had built during our earlier visit. Good progress was made and by the end of day 3-4 metres of wall had reached the second lift.
The members tackled the west end of the original remaining wall to meet up with the newly built west facing wall. Progress was slow due to the fact that the base was mostly buried by soil and weeds and had to be dug out and the base reformed. As it grew copes were hard to find but a start was made at the junction with the existing wall. The rest was left for Sunday’s wallers.
The next day the trainees continued to build to height, while Dorothy and Ann closely overseen by Robert continued with a further stretch.
The stone, an interesting mix of basalt, sandstone and limestone isn’t the easiest to build with, but at times even the roughest looking stone clunked nicely into place. It was indeed very satisfying to work with and the result, although a little unconventional in appearance, looked sound. Robert pointed out how difficult it was to build a wall with a perfect batter with this type of stone.
Dave, the owner, provided some excellent coping stones and we were able to complete our task for the day. If truth be told, Robert did most of the coping of the members’ section, while Dorothy and Ann wandered off to look at the nearby limekilns.
There is only a short stretch left to finish, which Robert will build in the spring.