Iberianature Forum

Iberian geography, history, geology, environment and climate => Geography and geology => Topic started by: Simon on February 01, 2008, 07:47 AM

Title: Dry stone walls and other structures
Post by: Simon on February 01, 2008, 07:47 AM
Hi everybody,

I've just been notified of this new on-line dossier created by the Catalan Countryside Observatory. I expect this will be of especial interest to Clive, who is a bit of an expert on the subject!

http://www.catpaisatge.net/dossiers/pedra_seca/eng/index.php

The release notes were at pains to point out that it only lists projects that maintain on-line information, so it is not exhaustive by any means. Although the Observatori pertains to Catalonia the dossier also includes a review of the international scene as well as the rest of Spain.

Enjoy

Simon
Title: Re: Dry stone walls and other structures
Post by: Technopat on February 01, 2008, 08:18 AM
Greetings Simon,
Thanx for that.
Interesting dossier - and excellent translation they've done of the web site.
Stone-walling regs.,
Technopat
Title: Re: Dry stone walls and other structures
Post by: Clive on February 01, 2008, 10:16 AM
Thanks for that Simon, very interesting.... The styles are almost the same as many used in the UK. The style used and the finished effect depends on the type of rock in a given area.

One day in the not so distant future I want to start a project to repair a part of a medieval walled road of about 500 metres that runs along the back of our garden. Its a big project for just me and Sue and I hope I can get some kind of volunteer/training program going but of course anything like this depends a lot on available money....and getting the local council motivated enough to want to do it..

:)
Title: Re: Dry stone walls and other structures
Post by: Jill on February 01, 2008, 14:53 PM
Look out, guys! Now you know why Clive wants everybody assembled over at his place "in the not so distant future". Volunteers, hey!
Title: Re: Dry stone walls and other structures
Post by: Technopat on February 01, 2008, 22:18 PM
Greetings Jill and All,
Nah, while you've been off-line, we iberianatureforumers of the male sex have been plotting away and you gals will be doing the stone-walling while we guys are doing the washing up  :dancing:

Say-hello-to-the-Mollymawklets regs.,
Technopat
Title: Re: Dry stone walls and other structures
Post by: Simon on February 02, 2008, 08:41 AM
Hi Clive,

I've read about what amounted to job creation/ work experience schemes rebuilding dry stone walls near the Els Ports Natural park, i.e. Tony nimfas country, so over to him perhaps! Similar schemes are used to restore casles, old palaces, etc. so maybe your first stop shold be your diputaciĆ³n for advice.

Simon

PS welcome back Jill



Title: Re: Dry stone walls and other structures
Post by: Clive on February 02, 2008, 09:11 AM
Hi Simon,

Yes the courses for the unemployed in the towns and villages have repair schemes for the old castles and some of the old roads nearer to them but there seems to be no skill or idea to the correct way of working with stone in this way.

First you need three truckloads of sand then 500 bags of cement and you throw away most of the good rock and put a good pile of mortar between the rocks. Forget about drainage who needs that?
This system is great for keeping the "unemployed" occupied permanently because year in year out there are plenty of repairs to do. (Oh yes I forgot, half the cement gets "borrowed" to make equally crap works at various homes).

Sorry about my cynicism but it makes me very unhappy to see stone that was cut and faced and laid correctly a 1000 years ago to be treated in this way...

I suppose at some point I will get involved in some teaching project, hopefully the wall and road behind our house but it's very tiring fighting the "no servir pa na" syndrome...

There will be no cement in my walls!
Title: Re: Dry stone walls and other structures
Post by: tonyninfas on February 02, 2008, 10:38 AM
With regard to dry stone-walling schemes in the Els Ports I cannot help on this one at the present I am afraid  :noidea:.  Unfortunately my Spanish is very still in the infancy stage even having been out here for 2 years now  :roxysnail: and I know absolutely no Catalan.  (My Spanish group are not very happy with the way we are progressing and we are about to have a go at our teacher today  :banghead: with some suggestions for speeding things up.) So am unable to converse very well with ajuntaments etc to understand what they are telling me.  Still there are a few ex-pats out here who might know, so I will see if I can find anything out and let you guys know.
Tony
Title: Re: Dry stone walls and other structures
Post by: glennie on February 02, 2008, 15:31 PM
This one from up in the mountains nr. Madrid.

Don't know what it would get out of 10 as a dry stone wall, but some of those 'bricks' are huge. Must have taken some handling to get them into place.

I like the marbling on the stone (lichens etc.).

(http://img209.imageshack.us/img209/6959/imagen033qr8.th.jpg) (http://img209.imageshack.us/my.php?image=imagen033qr8.jpg)
Title: Re: Dry stone walls and other structures
Post by: nick on February 02, 2008, 16:26 PM
Glennie,

These remind a lot of walls in Zamora
Title: Re: Dry stone walls and other structures
Post by: Sue on February 02, 2008, 19:02 PM
There is not much privacy for the lizards in that wall Glenniie!!
Title: Re: Dry stone walls and other structures
Post by: Simon on February 02, 2008, 19:03 PM
Hi All,

Clive, maybe you need to make contact with a genuine local artesan and encourage each other; as an example check out this workshop being run by the Les Preses ajuntament: http://www.lespreses.cat/noticies/noticia.asp?id=551

I'm sorry if the catalan puts you off! It seems to imply the work of one person, Pep Marc, is key to the whole idea. And I'm very intereested in the reference to using volcanic rock.

Tony, don't be too put off by your lack of Catalan, in theory this shouldn't be a hindrance to your getting equal access to any service - but a little does go a long way! Your Concell Comarcal should be able to point the way to beginners's classes run by the Generalitat. They're very cheap, very professional but ca be rather inflexible time-wise. For the record, I read and listen to Catalan all the time (including translation) but in effect never speak it. I'm by no means the only person in my gang, almost all of whom are Spanish including may born in Catalonia, who acts in ths way.

 In my experience most Catalans are happier to communicate well in either language than to stick to their own - there are are stident exceptions to this of course!

Regs

Simon
Title: Re: Dry stone walls and other structures
Post by: Simon on February 02, 2008, 19:20 PM
Just a little extra. I took these a few weeks ago with Clive in mind. The walls run alomg the very edge of the escarpment of the Serra de Montllobat, near my house  in the Pre-Pyrenees. The strange thing is that they run a few yards away from the cliff edge, with drops of anything from 50 metres to well over 100! So we wondered why they were there. It reminded me of aerial photo footage of places like the Shetland Islands, where the liestock was wall OUt of the enclosure, running apparently dangerously free alog the tops of sea cliffs, bt keping the precious and sparse grass safe and sound (possibly from the weather as well.

Any thoughts?

Simon
Title: Re: Dry stone walls and other structures
Post by: nick on February 02, 2008, 22:47 PM
Keep it up Tony,

Hopefully being a member of the forum will spur you on to read all sorts of fascinating stuff you wouldn't usually

Good luck

Nick