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

Welsh Walls


A variation on the theme of drystone walls, since we got home I’ve learnt this is a slate pillar fence, sort of a picket fence made of stone. They are found in only a small area of north Wales, apart from the odd escapee, which you can read about in the link. This was a particularly tidy example, others were a bit more ‘rough and ready’. They date from the mid 19thC and were made from poorer quality slate than is used from roofing slate.


Slabs of slate, driven into the ground, linked together with wire

slated 1-2

Of course Wales is famous for its slate.  

This type of walling is not as common as drystone walls, but there was still a fair number to be seen.

slated 5-2


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.

4 thoughts on “Welsh Walls

  1. I lived in the Welsh village of Cilgerran for a few months and attended the local school. As a kid from Brighton in Sussex, I was fascinated by the fact that there was slate everywhere.
    I even found a piece of slate partially carved to look like a Bible. I have no idea who carved it or why it was abandoned unfinished. One of those mysteries.

    Blaenau Ffestiniog (which you mentioned previously) is known for slate production, of course. Good slate is a fine material for many purposes.

  2. History mysteries are very absorbing. The narrow pillars look very like the familiar wood pickets, but the wider versions look like old tombstones leaning together for support! Heavy, too.

    I saw some slate fences in Cumbria that were made of large, thin, upright slabs, cunningly notched and fitted together so that they stood with no fasteners. Either they are very durable or people go to a lot of trouble to keep them in good repair.

  3. Clever use of local material. Never seen a slate fence before – although I’ve seen plenty made of whatever bits and pieces happened to be lying around.

    I remember watching a man fixing a drystane dyke when I was a child – fascinating. Time-consuming, though.

  4. good pictures, they look very delicate

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