Thursday, April 12, 2007
Rocks Up Close
I love rocks and I just couldn't get over the multitude of them and how they were arranged.
"Firstly when the land was cleared by extreme physical labour, the rock pavements that had to be broken up and moved by hand became the walls around these 'fields'. Each farmer has his own method of dry stone wall building, and it is amazing that his handiwork can be distinguished from someone else's. This art is passed down generation to generation. The stone walls are also remarkable in their strength, given the high winds and storms that hit the islands - and this is taken into account during construction. remember no concrete or binding material is used. the structure is all important, and this allows wind to pass through the walls easily, giving them stability in gales.
The walls have no gates but will have one area in a lot of cases where some rounder stones are placed, that can be rolled to one side to let cattle in or out, and then easily rolled back.
There are over 1000 miles of stone walls on Inis Mor (not bad for an island that isn't even 10 miles long!)."