Issue date: 17th July 2013
Cooperation between a private householder and CRT led to the holding of a two-day introduction course on stone walling and lime mortaring in Marple recently. The householder was most hospitable and pitched in to assist the three volunteers who wished to learn more about the subject. The wall in question was at the bottom of a fairly steep terraced garden that was adjacent to the disused swing bridge abutments between bridges 2 and 3 on the Macclesfield Canal.
On day two it soon became apparent that some order had to be maintained as the old wall was taken apart and the new build took place next to it. It is quite surprising how many odd shaped stones come out of what was an orderly looking, but fragile wall. The first trick is to ensure a good solid base, no matter how far down the wall must be dismantled. The second is to use the large stones low down (easier to lift as well) whilst trying not to have vertical joints running into each other. We then found it was prudent to dry lay a course or two to ensure some uniformity, always remembering to tie through the course with the nice long stones if possible. Gaps between front and back courses were in-filled, in the main, with the unwanted rubble and mortar as the faces were mortared up.