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Troutbeck Sheep Pen Restoration

In January 2010 the Coniston footpath crew worked with the Windemere National Trust estate team to restore a historic dry-stone sheep pen at Troutbeck Farm damaged by a large falling tree.





The first stage required stripping the wall down to the undisturbed lower stones and clearing a safe working area. Construction of the wall end, shown in the foreground, required particular care and skill.



As work progressed an emphasis was placed on matching the rebuilt damaged sections to the style of the surviving original stone-work.


The sheep pen contained both free standing and retaining wall elements in its construction.



In the construction of both free-standing and retaining walls, the largest stones are used in the lower courses followed by smaller ones above, with a final row of large stones laid to secure the top. Ideally 'through stones' are spaced evenly thoughout the structure to give added strength.  


The final stage involved laying cope stones, known in Cumbria as 'cams', to bond the two sides of the wall together and discourage the agile local breed of sheep from jumping out.



With a gate installed the project is complete - hinging the gate directly into the stone wall is a traditional method often used in Cumbria.