Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Wall rebuild on the Dubbs Road.

Dubbs Road, a popular bridleway, leads on to the Garburn Road linking Troutbeck, Kentmere and Stavely.

Part of  the wall - bordering the Dubbs road (bridleway) next to a ladder stile - had become very unstable. The wall is over nine feet high in places and looks much taller as it is built on a steep bank.

  Its height and instability meant it was too dangerous to take the wall down progressively (as is usually the case). To make it safer, the bad section of wall was "allowed"to collapse completely, with just a little help...minimal encouragement was needed!



The wall was built from local Applethwaite Quarry stone. This stone is  notorious for its poor quality. It is prone to frost damage and disintegrates surprisingly quickly. 

Water gets into the cracks of the stones; in a frost the water expands and ice  forces the cracks to become wider and wider over time.

In this close-up image of a wall built from Applethwaite stone, it is clear that some stones are crumbling away; the stones above have sagged and this section of wall, like the one above, is on the brink of collapse.

With the fun bit over, the stones were cleared back in order to dig out for the foundations or footing stones; this image gives some idea of how steep the bank is we had to work on.

The foundations are in place and the wall is now being rebuilt. 

Luckily, we recently put in a new entrance through a woodland wall at St.Catherine's to allow for timber extraction. The surplus stone  was brought in for this rebuild as so much of the original walling stone had disintegrated.

The stones are 'tied into' or overlapped into  the sound part of the wall that is under the ladder stile in this image. 

Once a certain height was reached, stone was carried up the ladder stile and walled 'overhand' from the high to the low side.

The finished wall repair from the high side...

...and the low or track side.

And just a reminder of what it did look like!

A view from the ladder stile, Troutbeck valley and village.


  1. Wow! Very impressive! I hadn't appreciated how much work goes into keeping our walls safe. You don't say how many people rebuilt this - it looks as though several were needed. Well done to you all.

    1. Thanks. Two of us rebuilt this wall over three and a half days. One of us spent the best part of a day loading, transporting and unloading several tons of stone that was taken down from a wall to put in a new entrance. As explained in the post, this was used for helping with the rebuild of the Dubbs wall. As the wall was so high, a time consuming part of the job entailed carrying stone up the ladder stile to the high side and walling "overhand" to raise the height on the low side. This is quite a difficult technique to master and is generally slower than conventional walling.