Around us here in NW Skye, the local stone is volcanic basalt - a hard, black rock which can be dressed to create roughly cubic building blocks. However, basalt is seriously heavy - a one-foot cube weighs around half a hundredweight (25kg), which is as much as I would want to lift these days. There are many, many blocks of double that size (and more) embedded in walls all over Skye...and even in Roskhill Barn!
During our first works at The Barn, the original stonework was substantially restored
Today, the human endeavour involved in creating stone walls is mostly forgotten, and many of the ancient walls are tumbled and becoming re-absorbed by the surrounding moorland. I offer below just a tiny number of the photographs I have taken of stone walls in our local area of NW Skye. Can you even begin to imagine the skills required to create such structures...??
(Throughout this blog - click on any picture to view a full-screen gallery).
|Large animal enclosures above Loch Bharcasaig.|
|Lichen-covered wall at Claigan|
|Long-abandoned township boundary wall, Cnoc na Pairce|
|Huge stones in the wall of the derelict sawmill at Dunvegan|
|Large animal pen - Eabost|
|Even larger animal pen - Glen Colbost|
|Today, it is easier to erect a new fence than to repair an old wall...|
|Fireplace and gable end wall of derelict cottage in Lorgill|
|Old wall - newer fence -Lyndale|
|Beautiful stonework - Orbost|
|More Orbost walls|
|Interior - St John's Chapel, Caroy|
|Boundary wall, Sumardale|