Richard Holden, a Member of Parliament, recently tried his hand at drystone walling alongside the local Northumbria Branch of the Dry Stone Walling Association.
Drystone walls, constructed using substantial boulders, stones, and pebbles, are ingeniously assembled through the weight and natural bonding of these materials. Their remarkable durability stems from this inherent cohesion. As they do not rely on mortar, they stand as one of the earliest known methods of construction in human history.
Richard was there all morning, exchanging jokes and stories with the lads at the Dry Stone Walling Association. This is not the first time Richard has had a go and he seemed to start to get the hang of it, despite the high level of craftsmanship involved. That said, I don’t think he’ll be rebuilding Hadrian’s Wall any time soon.
Drystone walls have been built by farmers for more than three millennia across England Scotland and Wales. It is truly incredible that we carry on this rich tradition today, with the earliest examples dating back to around 1600 BC during the Iron Age.
Drystone walls are not merely features of agricultural interest; they are in a sense, living history.
Commenting, Richard Holden MP said:
“I had such a great time with the lads at DSWA, Northumbria, getting stuck in with the drystone walls in the sunshine. While I am so glad I had the opportunity to join in, what was really impressive was seeing the masters at work.
“Drystone walls are not merely features of agricultural interest; they are in a sense, living history. It is fantastic that they are carrying on this ancient tradition, ensuring that our children and grandchildren can marvel at it in the years to come.”