Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

Set in Stone


I do like a nice lump of rock

Be it in its natural habitat, like this rock at the edge of a quarry, that has simply been built in to the wall, why bother shifting it, just build round it.


or something that has been simply crafted, like this gate post, to serve its purpose for generation after generation.



 I am not the alone; in a love of stone, the difference being that

Alice the Architect can combine a passion for building materials with knowledge and that’s always  a plus















I think it is something about the ‘built to last’ ethos that I like, that along with how the stone used for walling and building, reflects the geology beneath our feet, and how the colour of the stone changes, just ever so slightly and subtlety; the  soft pink stone  in the shippon (or cow byre) above, is unique to the quarry over the hill from here (now long since disused) and is the same stone that our house is built from. Old houses = local stone and building materials. 

There is a very healthy trade in this stone amongst our neighbours, should any, by chance become available, it is snapped up with a view to the building of new extensions that blend with the original property.


Old buildings tell a story, of changing needs and use’s; door’s built up, windows or even another storey added, but when things start to shift it can be expensive and difficult to repair and as some of you already know, extremely tedious.



The stones above are not our responsibility; thank goodness, however a  few years ago we had to undertake a major building project with our barn; we knew when we bought the place that, the barn was dodgy, the previous owners had put a large opening in the gable end, so as to use the building as a garage, they neither took advice or used their noggins, because the whole of the two story wall shifted, the top of the gable wall was leaning out by over a foot it was continuing to move; the stone slate roof had to come off, the colossal  weight was simply pushing the gable wall off, down the hill (Mr UHDD ever the engineer, calculated the weight of the stone slates was equivalent to parking Landrover’s over the entire area of the roof.)

Sadly we have not been in a position to replace the stone slates (one day, it’s a very expensive option) so we have ‘temporarily ‘ used a man made corrugated roofing material, one day, one day but at least the gable wall is now stable.


Barn rebuild

We were really pleased when some turned up on our doorstep selling this aerial  photograph (I suppose Google maps have knocked this market on the head) of our house, taken whilst the work was ongoing, the seller said ‘I suppose you won’t be very interested, in this shot, what with the building work’ I had to agree, and offer him a fiver to take the print off his hands, secretly I was delighted to get an aerial photo of the work, our huge barn looking like a house of cards.


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Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

7 thoughts on “Set in Stone

  1. I agree. I love stone buildings and walls. Something very special about them. Always makes me wonder about who and when, if you know what I mean.

  2. I knew there was a reason I liked you UHDD! 🙂

    One of the reasons why I agreed with the Other Half that we should buy our croft was the name – Stonehead. Another was the stone circle across the road, Another was the stone buildings. another was the drystone dykes.

    Stonehead has a nice symmetry as it’s a nickname I had in my climbing days, when I played roleplaying games I often played a dwarf named Stonehead, several months before finding the croft we were given a Stonehead as a present, and there are other connections.

    One of the things I enjoy doing with large slabs of stone is to sit against them on a sunny day, enjoy the warmth at my back and start imaging all that has passed before the stone over the last few millennia.

    I should have been a stonemason.

  3. Whoops, imagining! Although imaging is also a good description of what I do.

  4. It sounds like it was meant to be, Stonehead at Stonehead

    I agree, warm stone on your back is just as nice as the sun on your back.
    Especially in the early evening when the sun has gone off our south facing wall and the heat is radiated back out of the stone like a giant storage heater.
    Better still if the bats are out, I suppose the midges the bats are hunting will be attracted to the heat as well, I love to watch their flying skills.

    Coming soon, in my next post, some new sexy stone……for the stone mason in you.

  5. Handcarved headstones are no doubt the best chioce available, all in various types of stone the hand carving adds a certain personal element to the memorial/monument. Personally stonework created using only machines doesnt have the same level of creativlty in my opinion.

  6. These are greast examples of old, traditional stonework. Stonemasonry is one of civilsations oldestcrafts and I personally thinkg that stone as a material is perfect due to its strength, simplicity and beauty.

    My favourite stone is a limestone called Kent Ragstone only found in kent.

  7. Pingback: Unseasonal Colours | Uphilldowndale

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