This chapter covers design and construction procedures basic to all free standing dry stone walls. It describes procedures from the viewpoint of rebuilding a wall, as this is more usual than building an entirely new wall. Additional points are included on the building of new walls and the repair of small gaps. More detailed technical information about walling on slopes, curves and across difficult ground is given in chapter 7 – Technical walling.
Every area has its own terminology, which tends to hide the fact that similarities in their walling methods are more important than differences. The terms and procedures used in this chapter are those of the old West Riding of Yorkshire, which includes the Pennine limestone, Millstone Grit and Coal Measures. Further details of regional styles of walling are given in chapter 1 – Walls in the landscape and chapter 11 – Variations in walling.