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Stages of dry stone wall gap repair in The Ribble Valley.

I was asked by a landowner to fix 2 gaps in a wall in July 2021. A car had ploughed straight through the wall and spun round in the field, turned around and smashed through another section back out onto the road. The driver was unharmed. This is often the case as the dry stone wall has a certain ‘give’ and reduces the impact somewhat. The job was on the hill that divides the Ribble Valley, Hyndburn and Blackburn in Lancashire.

This type of job is quite common and usually results in the insurance company paying out the landowner for the damages to the wall. On seeing the mess of the site it could look like an overwhelming task to return to it’s original state, but that’s where experience, patience and skill come in! Gap repair is something I quite like doing. There s a knack to assessing how far to take back and there is often a bit of ‘jenga’ involved to take just the stone that is needed away and no more. You then have to re-set the foundations, round up all the coping stones and line up. It is then a case of carefully marrying the two sides together by weaving the courses into the newly set gap stones. As you can see from the pictures, a horrible looking smashed dry stone wall can become a neat looking repair in a couple of days using only the stone lying around. This was not the first time this section of wall had been hit by a car and it won’t be the last! I often return to the same or nearby spots time and time again.

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