This chapter looks in detail at some of the more advanced walling techniques required when building walls on slopes, around curves and in other situations where the physical conditions are difficult. The basic principles of walling described in chapter 6 – Rebuilding a free standing wall still hold true, but extra time and care, together with some ‘tricks of the trade’ are needed to achieve a sound structure which will overcome the physical difficulties of the site.
Building a perfect structure out of a material as variable as stone is almost impossible, and compromises are inevitable throughout the process. Even expert wallers frequently do not agree on the best solution to a technical problem, and whilst alternative approaches exist, many of the arguments are rather theoretical. A further complicating factor is the maintenance of local traditions of building. However, the defence of tradition should not be used as an excuse for inaccurate workmanship or for ignoring alternative techniques, and decisions should be made after balancing all the factors involved. This chapter recommends techniques which are structurally sound and practical, with tradition a secondary factor.