Thursday, June 26, 2014

Stone Fence

I was driving back from my monthly breakfast with 'the guys' (we went to a Fifties restaurant and got chaufered on our way in an old Sixties car!), and I passed this beautiful old stone fence.  It was sunny and bright, so this time I stopped for pictures.

This is the only stone fence I've seen built as a dry stone wall out of these flat pieces of dolostone.  It's from the Manitoulin Formation, which I've featured before in pictures of several waterfalls - thin flat layers of rock.  We have hundreds of old stone fencerows where all manner of boulders have been piled in lines, but I've never seen a dry stone wall like this one!

There's obviously an outcrop of this formation on this farm, and perhaps scattered rocks in the fields all similarly thin.  The dry stone fence stretches all the way across the front of the 100 acre farm, from one side to the other.

The construction is amazing, obviously built by a talented stonemason decades ago.  It may even be over 100 years  old.  All the rocks have to be placed slanting in slightly, letting rain run away, to avoid frost damage.  With proper construction, such a dry stone wall will last much longer than one where the rocks are mortared together. 

You can see how there are larger flat dolostone slabs on top to help shed the rain.  And looking over the fence you catch part of the farmhouse and some interesting trees to the left.

This view, beside the driveway, provides good evidence that a stone fence like this needs regular maintenance!  And there's the patch of whitish looking trees in the distance again.

A closer look reveals that they are mature locust trees, sometimes planted around farmsteads 100+ years ago.  And they were in bloom when I took this picture, with luxurious white blooms.  Sorry I don't have a close-up.  I only know of three old farmsteads in the whole Beaver Valley region with old locust trees like these.

Linking to:
http://www.run-a-roundranch.blogspot.ca/

19 comments:

  1. A very impressive stone fence. Imagine the hours of backbreaking labour that went into constructing it. They don't make fences like that any more.

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  2. oh, this is an awesome find! i always say, i would like an 8 foot tall stone fence all the way around our property. :)

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  3. stone fences are beautiful and this one is no exception. wonderful fence. wish they were in my area. thanks for sharing.

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  4. Whoever did it knew what they were doing, and did an amazing job building it.

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  5. I love the stone walls. We have the stones at HT to build one just not the talent. Well, maybe Ken does. : )

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  6. I think you may be the only one this week with a stone fence. This is a great one too. You win!

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  7. That's a well-built fence! Must have taken quite some time to construct.

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  8. A really cool stone fence the back way from Wiarton into Owen Sound. I always imagine the work they were piling all those rocks to clear the adjacent fields.

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  9. That's an impressive bit of building. We have walls like that all over the north of England. They're always called stone walls over here; stone 'fence' being reserved for a construction made with large flat stones placed in an upright position, like a row of gravestones placed side-by-side.

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  10. Love the stone wall! And I appreciate the geology lesson. We have tons of limestone here and it is less flat.

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  11. Beautiful views, and fabulous fence!

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  12. Stew, I think Daryl and I stumbled upon the same stone wall. Is this in our neck of the woods. We also stopped to take pics. Yours are Great !

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  13. I've decided the stones were all over the place when the poor settlers arrived...they cleared the land and moved the stones and used them for fencing in the place... what a lot of lovely work....

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  14. Fascinating. Like much of Ireland and New England. And beautiful in its own way....;)

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  15. What a great stone fence.

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  16. It is a beauty. You see a number of them but rarely this good.

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  17. Dry fit fences are amazing, and locust trees. Great finds!

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