Dry Stone Walling

Dry Stone Walling Banbury

As the importance of environmental issues is increasing dry stone walling is an ideal building material, sustainable and natural. The Dry Stone Walling Association. promotes its use in the British landscape. Whilst dry stone walling is prominent in northern and western Britain where large quantities of rock and stone are found above or just below the soil, Banbury, The Cotswolds and Oxford area also had readily available stone. The limestone in these areas brakes into regular flat plates and gets increasingly thicker at lower levels. The range of building stone (thin slates, walling stone and stone blocks) is available, often from a single location. The better climate has also led to the tradition of lime mortar construction in southern England. Modern lime mortar construction (especially hydraulic lime) will easily outperform common Portland cement construction.

The wider range of traditional construction options in Oxfordshire and neighbouring counties allows the provision walling or construction appropriate to your own home, landscape or building and meet whatever vision you may have for property development

Hillrise Stonework can provide bespoke and unique stonework construction in the Oxford and the Banbury area. Both techniques of dry stone walling and stonework laid in lime mortar in this area has remained largely unchanged for centuries. In the Banbury area iron bearing limestone from the Hornton and Great Tew quarries gives walls and other structures including dwellings and stately homes a unique and appealing look. The same material is found east of Banbury and up as far as Northampton. We offer as dug walling stone, dressed and semi dressed stone for repairs, rebuilding and new building in this premium material as well as in the other types of limestone used in North Oxfordshire, Warwickshire and Northamptonshire.

Dry Stone Walling Design Service

Dry stone walling is self-draining and self-weathering and a highly cost effective, traditional form of construction. However there is more than one traditional option for new stonework, particularly building with the use of lime mortars. Although requiring more complicated construction and weathering detail, stone laid in lime mortar will easily outlast the life of a stone wall built with  Portland cement. Generally more sophisticated than dry stone walling lime mortar construction more often uses coursed and sawn, dressed or semi-dressed stone, giving a wall or structure a neat finish and one often more appropriate in the context of grand or formal landscapes and gardens. There are also hybrid traditional wall designs which have a dry face (exactly like a dry stone wall) but the stone held together by a lime mortar core. The wall around Blenheim Park is one of the earliest of these hybrid, dry faced walls. It has a very sophisticated weathering detail with a waterproof top crowned with triangular coping stones and was designed in 1728. Many of the estate walls in North and East Oxfordshire appear to derive from this unusual form of lime mortar and stone construction.

Walling in the Banbury Area

The use of lime mortar and local stone in the Banbury and Oxford area will offer unique, high quality and long standing solutions to most building developments. The use of hydraulic lime mortar, typically with coarse sands and aggregates, brushed back or ‘bagged’ gives an attractive and effective weathering performance, in both conservation and repair or new construction. Although this kind of work requires a high level of skill and is temperature and weather sensitive whilst under construction, it will have far greater long term stability, and supports the national need to retain and develop traditional building skills leading towards a sustainable and improved built heritage.

As a company located in Bladon near Woodstock, we look to increase the use of local lime mortar and dry stone construction in those local towns and villages where it survives. Please call Hillrise Stonework if we can offer advice or help to find the best option for your dry or lime mortar and stone building repair or development on 01993 813122 or 07967366153 or fill in our contact form here.