Chronology of Work

May 2019
Job 1: Building a natural stone wall against a block wall in a private residence within the Forest of Dean.
The customer has specified an interesting and random walling style and loves this work.

Job 2: Building a walled garden with heavy blocks of natural stone within a garden/field in the Wye Valley.

April 2019
A 16 metre, curved Mendip stone wall in Somerset.
Before repair:

After repair:

March 2019
Cotswold stone wall in Bibury, Cotswolds
Wall was damaged due to being impacted by a delivery vehicle.
Before repair:
After repair:
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!
Historic Mendips property
A series of wall repairs.
First picture is a typical example of how the walls looked before they were rebuilt.
February 2019 - 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.
February 2019 - 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!!


January 2019 - 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 adjacent 300 year old beech trees in order that they could continue to grow unhindered beside the stone wall.

No new stone was used. The National Trust were very pleased with the result and more jobs are soon to follow.
November 2018:
Stepping Stones project in Tetbury for Cotswold AONB.

This is a special project for the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) which is keeping me busy on the run-up to my late Summer holiday.
Work in Progress:





Later in October 2018:
Repair of a curved wall at private house in Charfield.

1) A 3 metre curved wall rebuild as a result of vegetation and age pulling this section over. The stone was a red mudstone which was common to the area but proved difficult to source as these seams do not seem to be quarried anymore - eventually I found it in Ben's Reclamation Yard, Frampton Coterall

2) A 10 metre boundary wall which needed levelling and building up another 3 or 4 courses along its length.


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"

September 2018:
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 are very grateful to Duncan for crafting such a wonderful stone wall and would highly recommend him for his professional approach, skilled craftmanship 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:
  • I attended a practical session by Leicester City Council to teach contractors all about Lime pointing heritage buildings.

Early 2018:
Having spent sufficient time honing my course skills encountering real-life problems on farm walls I unleashed myself on the public by replacing this boundary wall beside the road in North Nibley, Gloucestershire.

I took down an old limestone wall which was delaminating badly and built this solid 18 metre, natural limestone boundary wall to a Bungalow beside the road in North Nibley.

As required by the property owner I also pointed it in order to give it a solid look, whilst maintaining its character and rustic appearance.

Everyone was happy with the end result and references are available.

2017/2018:
Farm Wall gap repairs
Repairing a series of gaps in a farm wall near Horsley, Gloucestershire.

Honing my skills on farm walls before I began to work on tidier walls e.g. boundary or garden walls for the wider public.

Increasing my walling speed and toughening my hands by repeating the process of building over and over again. Gradually this made the act of "seeing" the correct stone from afar easier and I began to speed up without relaxing my high standards in terms of sound and solid construction.

Each wall was taken down to below the foundations, these were reset so they were level and secure. On each side of the repair I secured the ends with custom external frames to prevent further falling whilst the middle was built up.

Photos show the work in progress, the set out of stones within the site and the rebuilt wall sections.


GAP-1

After wall had been taken down





GAP-2
Starting position





The last row of photos show the precarious wall ends before and after they were secured by adding custom wooden frames.

Starting position


during rebuild




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 CERTIFICATIONS
At The Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain test site at Crooklands in Cumbria.

This was the first cheek-end I had built using this type of stone.


Courses:

5 day LANTRA Level 1 Assessment course.

On a hot few days near Oxford ….

A "mock" test of a wall which to achieve standards set by the DSWA would need to be built quickly taken down and then rebuilt 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.
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Some pictures from dry stone wall course using Cotswold limestone (near Burford in Oxfordshire).
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Foundations

Improvers course training was conducted by a professional instructor through the Rural Skills section of the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

2015/2016:
Where it all began!

Cotswold dry stone wall constructed near Fosse Way, Chedworth.

Beginners training course through the rural skills section of Cotswold AONB.

Coursed work of a wall built with Cotswold limestone.

Throughout 2016 I took a further Improvers courses.

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Areas of Expertise


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..

Contact


07896 236115
Duncan@princeofwalls.com

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