Cycling to the Wall
The best way to seek out and see Yorkshires best stonewalls is to get on your bike! Walking is the traditional way of getting around the dales and still to be admired. Cycling on the other hand lets you experience far more ‘wall vistas’ in less time so use two wheels rather than two legs (and no motor vehicles).
In Praise of Old Walls
- A well built wall will endure for centuries. It is an investment of time and cash and have proved to be generationally long term investments.
- A hedge row is expensive to maintain and will eventually need replacing.
- Hedges need initial protection from grazing animals before it becomes secure and stable.
- Stonewalls are a picturesque part of the dales landscape that helped develop the tourist industry.
Dales Dry Limestone Stonewall
Reasons Farmers Need or Needed Walls
- For centuries farmers needed to mark boundaries that define ownership plus construction of enclosures, so what better way than with a dry stonewall.
- Skills were developed in the megalithic tombs and monuments of the stone age and there is considerable skill in walling.
- Villages needed to keep out animals from common meadows, ploughland and grazing land.
- Cattle needed to be kept away from corn and crops. Ewes and lambs were best kept near the farmstead
- Walls provide shelter from the cold Yorkshire wind and driving rain. The gaps in a dry stonewall filter the wind so sheltering sheep can dry their wet fleece.
View more pictures from a cyclist
The Dry Stone Walling Association has branches in West Yorkshire and Leyburn. They aim to ‘promote a greater understanding and knowledge about the traditional craft of dry stone walling’…. throughout the country’.