Whether you intend to take advantage of the final opportunities in 2022 to learn the basics of dry stone walling or you’re ready to kick back and plan for spring, you may be ready to grab a good book to read as days get shorter and evenings longer.
HISTORY AND TRADITION
If you look closely at the books in our online store, hidden among the assortment of ‘how-to’ books, you’ll find two gems on the history of stone walls. The perfect way to deepen your understanding of walling and its ancient past.
Sermons in Stone by Susan Allport
What do we actually know about stone walls? About the people who built them, and why? The author takes the reader on a fascinating journey that begins in the Ice Age and that has been shaped by the fencing dilemmas of the nineteenth century, by conflicts between Native Americans and colonists over land use, by American waves of immigration and suburbanization.
Stone By Stone by Robert Thorenson
Stone walls tell nothing less than the saga of how New England was formed. And even though most of them are crumbling today, they contain a magnificent scientific and cultural story about how they formed and the humans who built them. Travel back in time and discover the secrets these walls have to tell. Bill McKibben writes, “Now I know why all the stone walls I’ve ever stumbled across in the northeast woods are thigh-high–along with about a thousand other interesting details that shed illuminating light on the human history of this sweet region.”
These two books are also available in our Wall History Book Pack for additional savings.
MEMOIR AND CHILDREN’S LITERATURE
Between Stone and Sky: Memoirs of a Waller by Whitney Brown
At the age of twenty-six, Whitney Brown met a dry-stone waller. Within weeks she was out on the hill with him in Wales, learning the language of dry-stone walling. Far away from the pressures of her old life, she found deep satisfaction in working with her hands, in the age and heft of the stones, and the ring of the hammer.
Out under the open sky, Whitney relished every sore muscle and smashed finger, opportunity to stand atop a wall she’d just built and feel like the strongest woman alive.
Between Stone and Sky is a celebration of the raw and rugged splendour of the Welsh countryside and the enduring beauty and relevance of traditional craftsmanship. It is an unflinchingly honest account of the emotional struggle to become and belong. Most of all, it is an empowering story of female friendship, accepting uncertainty and risk, and crossing oceans in pursuit of dreams.
Stone Wall Secrets by Kristine and Robert Thorson
A wonderful children’s story about the origins and history of New England stone walls. Wonderfully written to inspire a new generation to admire walls and even build them. Beautiful illustrations on every page make this book a joy to read with the young ones in your life.
Currently out of print and hard to find!
Written by Kristine and Robert Thorson. Illustrated by Gustav Moore.
Dry Stone Walling: A Practical Handbook by Alan Brooks & Sean Adcock
Written by Alan Brooks and Sean Adcock. This is the fourth edition of this extensive handbook on dry stone walling. Often referred to as the “bible” by wallers this handbook covers every topic related to proper dry stone walling.
n dry stone masonry, stones are carefully selected and arranged in successive courses, and these stones are held together through contact rather than mortar. A pleasure to gaze upon, a dry-stacked stone wall can also be stronger, more stable and more resistant to weather than are many mortared walls. How to Build Dry-Stacked Stone Walls is a comprehensive reference for those who want to build a stone wall – or any stone structure – using this time honored traditional method.
Dry Stone Walling: Techniques & Traditions by DSWA-GB
Back cover excerpt: This book is an approachable and fascinating look at the traditional craft of dry stone walling. Written in plain language, it offers a practical guide to the techniques used in different parts of the country and gives background detail which explains the simple principles involved and shows why walls have developed in their own characteristic ways.
Written by Sean Adcock. This helpful guide focuses on common problems in walling and how to avoid them. It is filled with examples of poor walling and side by side comparisons of correct and incorrect technique. A very valuable guide. The content found here is not available in any other book.
The author has made the content of this book available as a free PDF file available here.
Books from this curated collection make great gifts for the dry stone wallers in your life!