There are many, many old stone walls in Scotland. All were built by hand, each stone being carefully selected and placed to maintain the strength and stability of the wall. The most amazing walls I saw while cycling in this lovely country stretched to the top of steep hills. Often these walls seemed to be more vertical than horizontal.
However, the day that I cycled past these incredible structures, the weather was not conducive to taking photos – it ranged from hail to buffeting wind and intermittent rain. So no photos of those!
What I do have though, is a series of photos of what I think is the most beautiful wall I have ever seen. Up close, each section is a mini garden, with mosses and lichens growing vigorously on the rock surfaces, creating lovely green on grey colours.
I don’t know how old this wall is, but lichens are very slow growing, so it would be fairly old. It is unusual, because of two things. The first is that the lower section has been rendered in some places – perhaps where it has been repaired? Rendering is not typical of the dry stone walls that one sees in this part of Scotland. (The photo below shows some sections that have not been rendered – these may be the original wall.) The second unusual feature is the decoration along the top. Someone went to a lot of trouble to cut and shape a lot of stone to make the pattern that you can see in the photos.
This is not a short wall. It paralleled the road for a long way. All along its length, it was in the well cared-for condition that is evident above. If anyone is travelling in the Scottish Highlands on the southern side of Loch Tay, you will not doubt pass by this wall. Be sure to look at the other side of the road too, because there you will find an ancient stone circle to explore! The latter is very old and would have been there long before the wall was built!
I have an entire post on this amazing stone circle. If you are interested, you can read more and see a diagram of the stone layout by going to the section on the Scottish Highlands – Stone circles.
This post was inspired by the Weekly Travel Challenge – Walls, which was posted by Ailsa, at Where’s my backpack.