|Tormarton Road, Marshfield|
Completed April 2020
Curved garden wall c.7 foot high, repaired with a very strong build including relaying of foundations, after it was blown over by the wind.
Customer was delighted:
"From the outset, when we spoke on the phone about the work, I was impressed with Duncan's personable nature. Subsequently I was impressed by the presentation of the document which was my quote - this told me all I needed to know.
The work on the repair of my dry stone wall was carried out in a courteous, caring, skilful manner and not at the expense of other important issues, such as leaving the site tidy at the end of each day, as well as something that is vital to us all at this time Health and Safety!
I would have no hesitation in recommending Prince of Walls to anyone that requires first class craftsmanship and expertise.
I am sure I am one of many satisfied customers."
Completed March 2020
Two sections of wall taken down and repaired along with 2 cheek-ends either side of steps (and a gate).
|High wall corner in Dursley, Gloucestershire|
Completed end of February 2020
This job was chiefly about securing the corner which was cracking badly and falling away. It was also ugly, incorporatimg many bricks, so not inkeeping with the decor.
I used lime mortar (NHL3.5) in this repair of a wall which is 2.8 metres high and 30 metres long (the focus of this phase of repair was the full height but just the first 5 metres of length close to the corner).
The neighbours garden was at a much higher level (this side the wall was little more than a metre tall) it also had the appearance of being dry stone and I maintained this look in the rebuild.
A timeline of the build:
The left is the before showing lots of bricks attempting to hold up the corner and a massive crack from top to bottom.
The right-most picture shows the corner using only natural limestone, hand-shaped.
I have now completed the total rebuild of this long Cotswold dry stone wall running on a slope, which was collapsing due to ivy and trees growing through it.
I have taken wall down completely, dug out all vegetation, relayed foundations, cut back trees, realigned the wall to avoid as many roots as possible. The roots of the largest tree were avoided by using a timber lintel to bridge these.
The customers also required that the height be increased by 50 cm to contain their dog.
"Duncan did a fantastic job for us. Not only does the wall look fantastic but he came up with some great solutions to a tricky problem."
He is referring to timber lintels that I used to bridge the wall over large tree roots.
Dursley (Dec-Jan 2020)
A dry stone wall for a loyal customer where 5 metres had fallen and a further 12 metres needs rebuilding at the same tine as its being held up by concrete posts that are now collapsing.
Chris said: "Thanks for a great Job! Enjoy the whiskey!"
[Note: Whiskey not essential (a kind Christmas gift!)]
|Completed end of November 2019|
"Added to that Duncan was incredibly personable and communicated well from the initial quote and site visit to when the job was complete. His craftsmanship is superb."
Rob W (homeowner)
|A Section from some of the wall||repairs in the Summer of 2019|
28 metres of dry stone wall with a concrete centre, incorporating bricks and breeze blocks associated with bodged repairs over the years. Was leaning and bowing in places.
Wall taken back to a level surface above any damaged areas and restored to former glory across the entire length. This was then coped with a lime mix (NHL5).
This wall repair was at a garden backing onto National Trust land where I had walled before.
5 metres had fallen and was reinstated.
"Duncan and his team were very professional and reliable. They completed the work ahead of schedule and restored the wall to its former glory."
|Work on the Welsh side of the River Severn||2 simultaneous jobs near each other|
|1> Building a natural stone wall against a block wall in a private residence within the Forest of Dean.|
The customer has selected an interesting, eye-pleasing walling style, and loves this work.
|2 > A new wall in the Wye Valley. Built from random, local stone dug out from the ground in the same field. It’s strongly built on the corner especially, extending the walled garden to protect the owner’s fruit and vegetable plants from the weather and from the pit ponies who will occupy the field in the Summer.|
|A 16 metre, curved Mendip stone wall rebuilt in Somerset.|
"Duncan and the team did a first rate job on our wall . they were there when they said ' cleaned up after each day 'i would highly recommend."
|Cotswold stone wall in Bibury, Cotswolds|
Wall was damaged due to being impacted by a delivery vehicle.
|Comments from Managing Director of firm whose delivery driver accidentally damaged wall above:||“re insurance claim ..... the underwriter required a full site report and assessment of the work you carried out. Which by the way was excellent ...... you did everything you said and at a first class standard too! “|
A series of wall repairs at a property in the Mendips.
First picture is a typical example of how the walls looked before they were rebuilt.
|Boundary wall of private house in Bath|
Rebuild of a 4 metre fallen section directly behind the summerhouse.
Picture (right) shows foundations reinstated prior to rebuild.
|This photo shows the two faces of the wall when completed.|
No new stone was used and every stone that came out went back in.
|The National Trust|
|Repair of 3 further dry stone walls in same general area, bordering National Trust land, as worked on in January.|
Having proven my competency to the National Trust I was contracted to repair larger and more complex problems. These all required the bridging of tree roots and reinstatement of dry stone walls.
Access was not always particularly easy!||
|The National Trust|
|Take down and rebuild a dry stone wall beside the road and bordering a meadow for the National Trust on the Bath Skyline site.|
The brief was to incorporate a lintel to allow the uninterrupted growth of the adjacent 300 year old beech trees, in order that they could coexist alongside this historic dry stone wall.
No new stone was used in this section of wall repair. The National Trust were very pleased with the result and more jobs were soon to follow.
|Stepping Stones Project:|
A scheme run by the Cotswold AONB.
This 8 metre wall, which included a cheek end was reconstructed in Tetbury using very weathered stone that shattered frequently.
The Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) set up this project to aid enthusiastic wallers establish their professional business.
|Private residence in Charfield|
Repair of a curved, feature wall plus other dry stone wall repairs in garden.
A semi-circular curved wall had collapsed as a result of a mature vine pulling this down over many years. The stone was a red mudstone which was common to the area but difficult to source as these seams are no longer quarried - eventually I found it in Ben's Reclamation Yard, Frampton Coterall.
Testimonial from property owner, RogerC:
"I have a number of stone walls surrounding and within my property. Having had a partial collapse of a section of wall, I engaged Duncan to rebuild it. This turned out to be a bigger job than anticipated, but I was very impressed that Duncan still completed the job on time and to the agreed quote, even though I had asked him to do some small patch repairs on a few other walls as well. The price I paid was very reasonable for a highly skilled craftsman and I intend to use Duncan again and would have no hesitation in recommending him"
Repair of 12 metre section of dry stone retaining wall in the garden of a period property in Dursley.
”We were very impressed with Duncan's knowledge are very grateful to him for crafting such a wonderful stone wall. We would highly recommend him for his professional approach, skilled craftsmanship and love of his work. Our garden has stone walls on three sides and if any other section needs rebuilding we will definitely be calling Duncan again.“
Also in September:
Attended a practical session in lime-mixing and pointing run by Leicester City Council, this course was to educate contractors about the use of Lime when restoring heritage buildings.
|Not JUST Dry Stone Walls. Below is a selection of repairs to natural stone walls with mortar:||Reconstruction of an old wall-end in Berkeley, with imperial bricks using lime as a mortar (NHL).|
|A large tree had fallen on this wall in Thornbury, Gloucestershire and I was instructed to reinstate it (July 2019).|
Lower picture shows reinstated wall using remaining stone on site pointed with a mortar which would match (when dry) the existing mortar.
In agreement with the customer I suggested the stone would be better enhance using a flush pointing, rather than the raised pointing which was there before.
”We were very happy with your work and the way you communicated with us.”
"Duncan was friendly and reliable. He did a very good job of repairing our wall. He worked tidily and methodically, we are very pleased and would highly recommend him. "
Lynne and Patrick Fitzgerald
|An old limestone wall which was delaminating badly replaced along its full length with this solid 18 metre, natural limestone boundary wall. Infront of a road-facing bungalow in North Nibley.|
Everyone was happy with the end result and references are available.
Gapping of Farm Walls:
I honed my skills on farm walls before I started to work on neater walls for private residents' garden walls or estates.
Increasing my speed, getting fitter and repeating the act or walling over and over again. I gradually improved and was able to "see" the next stone from afar easier and could accurately shape a stone with a hammer to my liking. Hence speeding up without relaxing my high standards of good looking work along with sound and solid construction.
Each wall was taken down to below the foundations, these reset to level and secure. On either side of the repair I made custom external frames to prevent further falling whilst the middle was built up.
Photos show work in progress, the set out of stones within the site and the rebuilt wall sections.
After wall had been taken down
Will (the farmer) said:
"Good solid walling. Excellent work"
The last row of photos show the precarious wall ends before and after they were secured by adding custom wooden frames.
Gap 1 is now rebuilt (as above).
Gap-2 (below) showing work in progress with frames holding both sides up whilst work continues on the foundations and initial courses, as shown in the photo below.
|LANTRA Scheme Certification days:|
|A series of residential courses at the home ground of The National Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain.|
These photos are of walls I constructed at their test site at Crooklands in Cumbria.
These are all cheek-ends (wall ends).
Dry Stone Wall constructions from training days:
LANTRA Level-1 Assessment walls.
"Mock" tests of wall take-downs and rebuilds to achieve standards set by the DSWA. Test was to quickly taken down and then rebuild in a seven hour window under the scrutiny of an assessor appointed by the DSWA.
|Above: Wall under construction (during second lift)|
Left: Completed wall.
Some other old pictures of walls under construction using Cotswold limestone.
Instructors issuing guidance provided by the Rural Skills section of the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
Posing in front of a Cotswold dry stone wall near Fosse Way, Chedworth.