Dry stone walling, Caw Fell

The whole watershed of Ennerdale must have at one time been enclosed. Over many fells, Red Pike, High Crag, Green and Great Gable and Kirk Fell, the traces of a wire fence can still be followed. Useful in mist. On Caw Fell, bordering National Trust land, there is a dry stone wall which is currently being repaired. The wall has been dismantled down to the foundation and the stones laid to one side. North York Moors dry stone walls are laid in courses, larger stones at the bottom gradually reduced in height but the walls here have no courses and are laid randomly. Must be the nature of the rock, North York Moors sandstones being easier to dress. The steel posts will form the ‘A’ frame, a guide to build the batter of the wall to. Another thing I noticed is that the coping stones, the top course of the wall, are larger in width resulting in an overhang. A farmer once told me this was traditionally to stop wolves from climbing the wall. Presumably nowadays it is the Herdwick sheep that might be tempted who think nothing of grazing on a vertical crag face. There was no one around working so it must be a long term project.

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