The Town of Alton hosted the Dry Stone Walling Association of Canada Annual “Stone Festival” June 2013. This two day hands on course taught by Master Craftsman and Advanced Certificate Dry Stone Wallers helped to construct and renovate the Alton Town Square. Features built included a Moongate with bronze Bonzia Tree insert, Stone Pillar and several types of dry stone walls.
The emphasis of this workshop was on what is termed ‘Dryscaping’ – the structural use of natural stone in landscape applications without man made products such as glue, rebar, cement, concrete blocks or imitation stone. Students got instruction in building random coursed dry laid walls using local limestone and learned all about foundation, batter, through stones, hearting, bonding and coping.
Learning how to build a dry stone wall takes a little bit of time, muscle and some trial and error, but the beauty that results from building with natural stone and your own two hands is second to none.
If you stop and think about it, it seems that, written word aside, the most enduring monuments to man’s creativity and hard work are built of stone. The Pyramids, in Egypt, the Great Walls of China and Peru, temples most everywhere from Latin America to India, the castles of Europe, and the mile upon mile of stone walls running through our own New England countryside were all laid by hand and without a speck of mortar.
They endure in part because rock is as near a definition of “forever” as exists. But more important is their main construction ingredient — gravity. In a properly built stone wall each rock sits square on the ones below it, and so long as gravity keeps pulling, that wall is going to stay put.
Quoted from Mother Earth News