Dry Stone Waller | Cotswolds | Gloucestershire | | | | 07896 236115 | Duncan@PrinceOfWalls.com

Gallery of Work
Cotswold Edge Golf Club Wall repaired after car accident knocked it down - October 2021
Repaired dry stone wall
Repaired dry stone wall with a view
Gap repair at Dyrham Park (National Trust) near Bath - September 2021

Repair of a high wall with a fallen section that measured 3.5 metres at the top.
Gap repair of Cotswold stone wall in National Trust site, Dyrham Park
A new build dry stone wall near Burford in West Oxfordshire - August 2021
Below are 3 photos of this finished new-build dry stone wall that is located in Asthall, near Burford in West Oxfordshire.
This wall has no mortar inside and uses newly quarried stone from nearby Farmington quarry. It is 4.8 metres long and 1.90 metres high, it’s on a concrete foundation provide by the customer and the coping stones are placed into a bed of lime mortar.
It divides the garden from a courtyard area in the back garden of their home.

Tall new build dry stone wall in West Oxfordshire
Front view of new build dry stone wall in Oxfordshire near Burford
Dry stone wall with upright coping stones secure with lime mortar

Finished this new build dry stone wall in Sheepscombe, Stroud - July 2021

Wasplik in Stroud built by Prince of Walls (Duncan Burnell) using stone from Tinkers a Barn
Dry stone wall in Stroudbuilt against edge of patio
This dry stone wall is 1 metre tall and 17 metres long, it’s cheek-end matches the height of the gate posts. It has taken 4 weeks to build.

Stone delivered loose has been moved to pallets for building new dry stone wall
15 tonnes of stone delivered was loose and moved onto pallets either side of the new wall location ready for building to begin.
Later photos show early stages of build; foundations down, A-frames erected, grass and patio protected and start of first courses of walling.

We recently instructed Duncan Burnell to construct a 17 metre new-build dry stone wall at the front of our property.
We can happily confirm that the completed build is of the highest quality and without doubt has enhanced the appearance of our property.
Throughout the build we were impressed by Duncan’s knowledge and the fact that he kept us informed at every stage. We found him courteous and considerate at all times and would without hesitation recommend his work.
R and J Edmonds”

Roadside wall, takedown and rebuild, widening the road -June 2021
Roadside drystone wall
Roadside wall flattened for rebuild in dry stone
Dry stone wall returns on a gateway into a property - May 2021

These two wall-ends with returns that disappear into the banks on either side will hide gateposts from which entrance gates will hang.
gate returns made with a dry stone wall - posts erected next to the wall will be used to hang the gate and dry stone, without mortar is not suitable for hanging a swinging gate.

“We are very pleased with our entrance. Your walls have transformed it!”
Richard G

Building dry stone around a house name plate
A retaining dry stone wall built on the edge of a swimming pool - May 2021

This completes a section of wall that I began building last year, it’s the part to my left (see photo) that I did last year. This time I carved out a terrace area from the lawn to create a flat piece of ground then built a retaining dry stone wall, joining the last one around the edge.
Dry stone wall providing a border to a pool terrace

This pool has a border consisting of a dry stone wall cut out of the lawn
A gap repair within the grounds of the Courtyard Manor hotel in Painswick - March 2021
The wall had been struck and knocked over by a truck resulting in approximately 3 metres falling over. Pictures below show eitherside after repair, which included a mortared flat coping stone.
Dry stone wall repair in Courthouse Manor hotel, Painswick

dry stone wall repair in hotel in Painswick, Gloucestershire by Duncan Burnell
below is image of wall BEFORE repair

A gap in the front wall of a lovely old home located in North Nibley, Gloucestershire - March 2021

This wall had fallen after ivy was removed when it had already penetrated the structure. There was also a tree root that was tilting it frontward. This small gap repair took me just a few days and consisted of me taking the foundations out, digging back and working the foundation stones around the roots of the tree and then building it back up. To match the adjoining walls I applied a concrete cope.
The owner was very pleased and had this to say:
I’m so glad we asked Duncan to repair our drystone wall which backs onto the Cotswold way from our garden. The work he’s done to restore it to its natural beauty is truly fabulous. He’s a master craftsman who certainly lives up to his business name, Prince of Walls! Duncan was also a pleasure to deal with. I have absolutely no hesitation recommending him. Thank you Duncan.”

Showing the outside view of the finished wall repair with concrete cope:
Dry stone wall in gloucestershire
Below is picture of wall BEFORE repair

Royal High School, Bath - February 2021
18 square metres of retaining wall repaired on the edge of the school, this bordered a neighbour’s property where the path I was working on needed to be kept passable as it lead to an occupied annexe.
4 metres had fallen and there were 3 x 3 metre bulging sections.
I carefully removed all the stones in that 13 linear metre repair area, dealt with all the minor land-slippages during what was a very wet time of the year and replaced them securely. The stones were heavy, very boulder-like and uneven but it was possible to order them from biggest at the bottom of the wall to smallest near the top to create a stable, even and good-looking structure .

Before & After photos below:
Picture is of a collapsing dry stone wall in Bath’s Royal High School
Photo showing dry stone retaining wall repaired in Royal High School, Bath by Duncan Burnell

Cutwell, Tetbury - December 2020
A long, back garden, boundary wall. Originally less than 30cm high, throughout November and December I extended the height of this to over 2 metres, using only Cotswold limestone (no mortar). Stone was purchased from Knockdown quarry which was just a few miles from the site and accordingly presumed as the source stone for the original wall.
Tetbury dry stone wall built by Duncan Burnell
A closeup of the wall shows the height of the original wall (green tinged), the even copes set into a thin layer of mortar and the laying of the face stones.
Applying cock and hen coping stones to a tall dry stone wall

Woodchester - October 2020
A short wall surrounding a herb garden, dry stone wall cladding using old stone found in the garden, built up against a timber fence. This fence was built in preference to a block wall so that tree root movement wouldn’t affect its structure in the long term.
Dry stone wall build around a small herb garden in Woodchester House

- September 2020
A vehicle had collided and destroyed the end of this lowish stone wall. Insurance quote was to replace the cheekend and top 3 courses of the wall. I did this but for no extra charge also took the outside of the wall down to ground level and rebuilt 14 courses before eventually topping the whole wall with a lime mortar cope.
All the traffic lights were green on the way home .... karma!
Dry stone wall repair in Thrupp, Gloucestershire with cemented coping stones

Broken dry stone wall in Thrupp, Stroud - before repair Dry stone wall taken down to replace laminating stone at ground level This is a repaired dry stone wall in Thrupp, Stroud. Work by www.PrinceofWalls.com

Oakridge Lynch, Stroud - September 2020
A bank below a road at the back of a property was collapsing. There was a previous dry stone wall which gradually became a pile of stones rolling down the bank.
Before and after shots are shown below.
Dry stone retaining wall near Stroud UK
Thanks for all your help ... looks great. You have made very quick progress.
I will be in touch with the next wall in due course” - Tony S

Hawling, near Cheltenham - August 2020
A collapsed wall beside a large tree that was the victim of ash die back. The stump couldn’t be removed but I was keen not to build over it as it was rotting quickly away. I chopped back as much of the stump as I could and shaped one side of the wall around the stump.
Dry stone wall built beside ash die back tree stump in Hawling UK

Wotton Under Edge - July 2020

Undertaking two jobs; one replacing stakes retaining a bank beside swimming pool with a dry stone wall using new quarried stone. The other is replacing broken, laminating stones in a high retaining wall alongside a driveway using the original stones plus several reclaimed stones from my pile of stock. Both walls are curved - a speciality of mine!

Before ............................................ During ............................................... After

Next job:
Before ........................................... then Down .................................. then Back up

Frampton Cotterell - June 2020

Lining the edge of the driveway of a large, bespoke modern house. This stone (local but more chunky than is usual in the area) was originally going to be used to fill Gabion baskets but the levels that were involved made a free-flowing dry stone wall, which could be constructed to hold a firm top-line, a much more attractive technique. This will eventually rise out from the gravel driveway material (which is in the foreground).
Frampton Cotterrel modern dry stone wall Lining a driveway with a modern dry stone wall Showing the curve of a dry stone retaining wall in plan view Red coloured modern dry stone wall Marking the boundary between features
"I am very happy indeed with the wall, it finishes off the front area nicely. I also appreciate you clearing up the area so I could fully appreciate it when I got home last night."

Phil K, homeowner.

Nailsworth - June 2020
Mostly cladding against a block wall which will surround a vegetable patch on a tiered garden above Ruskin Mill, Nailsworth. There is also a few metres of ‘proper’ dry stone walling.
Cladding a block wall using limestone

Creating a dry stone wall effect by cladding against a block wall
Butterow, Stroud - June 2020 - part of a back yard landscape project. Solid steps and walls created using dug-out stone using dry stone technique with no mortar whatsoever!

Building with natural limestone at property in Stroud

Nothing short of great! Easy to have around, wants to produce quality.”makes good walls” according to my fine lady. Even showed my daughters a magic trick with a matchbox” Simon Cox

Oakridge Lynch - completed May 2020
Before & After:
Dry stone wall knocked over by a lorry in Cotswolds Dry stone wall rebuilt in Oakridge Lynch
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."

Valerie Marshall

Dry stone wall repair on a windy corner in Marshfield
The foundations this side of the wall were not existent. This wall is now more resistant to the gales
Uley, Gloucestershire
Completed March 2020
Two sections of wall taken down and repaired along with 2 cheek-ends either side of steps (and a gate).
Rebuilt limestone dry stone wal
Thin stone dry stone wall repaired
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.

Before Cracks down the corner of a mortared limestone wall
This timeline shows stages in repair of lime mortar wall in Dursley

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.

After (high side - lime mortar)

This wall repaired using NHL 3.5
After (on neighbours side - dry stone) The other side of this apparent dry stone wall is a limestone wall backed with NHL

Oakridge Lynch
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

Courses of wall are horizontal not level to wall’s slope


Dry stone wall before repair 1 Prior to dry stone wall repair 2 Dry stone wall repair in progress 3 Wall repair required in Gloucestershire

"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)


Wall repair -dry stone

After repair Dry stone wall repair December 2019

Long dry stone wall in Oakridge Lynch

Dry stone wall repair

Foundations being laced in dry stone wall repair Dry stone wall, level coursing, during rebuild


Duncan Burnell dry Stone Walls site before rebuild in Dursley
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

Robert said:
Duncan and his team were very professional and reliable. They completed the work ahead of schedule and restored the wall to its former glory."
Stone wall has been repaired badly over many years

This boundary wall border the Bath National Trust Skyline estate
Rebuilt dry stone wall in Berkeley


Dry stone wall rebuilt in Bath, England
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.
Forest of Dean Bream dry stone wall
The customer has selected an interesting, eye-pleasing walling style, and loves this work.
Bream dry stone steps and features
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.
Dry stone Wall in Wye Vallet
A 16 metre, curved Mendip stone wall rebuilt in Somerset.
Before repair:
An old, tumbling dry stone wall in South West England overgrown with moss and grass

AndyB said:
"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."
After repair:

Duncan Burnell Prince of Walls built this 18 metre curved wall in Mendips wall rebuilt to full height on a corner in Ston Easton
Cotswold stone wall in Bibury, Cotswolds
Wall was damaged due to being impacted by a delivery vehicle.
Before repair:
a dry stone wall thats started collapsing after being hit my a delivery van
After repair:
A Cotswold limestone dry stone wall reconstructed in Bibery
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.
This wall was repaired in 2 days
First picture is a typical example of how the walls looked before they were rebuilt.
Mendip stone wall repair
Mendip stone natural repair Two days work to repair this
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.
Dry stone wall rebuild in progress in Bath
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.
Blocky natural stone wall reconstruction
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.
Wall was secondary to leaving room for these trees on National Trust meadow have room to grow
Dry stone wall with mortared copes bridging the tree roots Access was not always particularly easy!
Dry stone walling by Duncan Burnell
This oak lintel is preserving the beech tree and ancient dry stone wall

The National Trust work with Dry Stone Waller to preserve beech trees in Bath
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.
Repairing road fronting walls with National Trust in Bath

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.
The Cotswold AONB work with new dry stone wallets to introduce them to walling asa profession
This repair is about to go UP Cotswold Dry Stone wall foundations being laid in Tetbury, Gloucestershire During
Duncan Burnell repairs a wall
A dry stone waller uses an A-frame as a guide for the profile of a wall-end
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"
Garden feature made with dry stone wall in Charfield, Gloucestershire
Marlstone wall in Charfield is hard to find as local quarries do not operate in locality
Before Repair: This was a curved dry stone wall before it was destructed by a growing vine

Repair of 12 metre section of dry stone retaining wall in the garden of a period property in Dursley.
  • 3 metres had fallen
  • 3 metres was taken down and rebuilt on a firm re-laid foundation
  • 3 metres had spalling stone so was partially taken down and repaired
  • 3 metres was bowing due to pressure of retained soil, so was taken down, strengthened and rebuilt.

Anne said
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.

Reconstructed Dry Stone Wall as garden boundary in Dursley
Not JUST Dry Stone Walls. Below is a selection of repairs to natural stone walls with mortar: Bricks and lime mortar topping a dry stone wall in Berkeley, Gloucestershire 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
Mortar wall repaired in Thornbury

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.
Limestone wall with lime mortar in North Nibley Gloucestershire
Roadside natural limestone wall
A course of mortar near the top of the wall makes a distinction between the wall face and the coping stones I.e. it emphasises the cock and hen copes.
I think it work best when a lot of work goes into levelling the top course of stone, if this doesn’t happen it can emphasis the transition and look a little untidy.
A course of cement emphasising cock and hen coping on a Cotswold dry stone wall ​​​​​​​
Training course delivery
​​​​​​​This wall was built by students under instruction
Student built dry stone wall in Avening ​​​​​​​

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
If this is cracked how much more wall will fall?

Farm walls made from dry stone are common place in the Cotswolds. This on is being rebuild by Duncan Burnell, Dry Stone waller

Starting position
Dry stone wall repair work

Gap repair of dry stone wall

Will (the farmer) said:
"Good solid walling. Excellent work"
Customised frames of softwood can assist a dry stone waller hold up a field wall which would continue to fall when the gaps are being repaired

The last row of photos show the precarious wall ends before and after they were secured by adding custom wooden frames.
Repair required to a local farm wall
Starting position

Gap repairing stone wall in Horsley, Gloucestershire
during rebuild

Farm wall with strong gap repair

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. Dry stone wall site layout will assist with quick dry stone wall rebuilds

Gap repair in farm wall Starting a farm wall repair
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).

Cheek end rebuild
Cheekend for DSWA Level 2 exam

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.
Stone from Smiths Bletchington quarry
Duncan Burnell wall repair Above: Wall under construction (during second lift)

Left: Completed wall.
. .

Some other old pictures of walls under construction using Cotswold limestone.
Foundations Wall face in limestone Training course wall repair

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.
After a weekend training class for beginners

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A well built dry stone wall will last generations and can really enhance the look of your garden, terrace or boundary.
We are passionate and committed to preserving our heritage and serving the craft by upholding the traditional skills that created these landmarks that have stood the test of time.


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