Stan gets to keep Millennium Dry Stone Walling Award

In one of the last tasks before her retirement from the role of CLA (Country Land and Business Association) Director North, Dorothy Fairburn presented the CLA trophy for dry stone walling to Stan Bargh, Chapel le Dale, for him to keep.

Dorothy said: “Stan was a regular winner of the trophy in the early days of the competition and we had to ‘persuade’ him not to enter so that younger wallers had a chance to shine.”

It is a beautiful trophy - a lump of glass resembling a stone for walling, with the etching of a dry stone waller at work on one face. It was designed by well-respected Yorkshire glass engraver Jane Debenham with the base carved by the late Alan Smith from Great Edstone near York.

Dorothy added: “I hope Stan will enjoy having it on his side-board for many years. It is a wonderful tribute to his great skill as a dry stone waller. Stan has walled many miles of dry stone wall on his farm over the last few decades.”

“We are particularly grateful to the Yorkshire Dry Stone Walling Guild who have judged the entries over the years – often walking considerable distances up fell sides to inspect the relevant wall. We could not have run this competition without their expertise,” she added.

“I came up with the idea of a competition to recognises the skills of farmers, farm workers and walling contractors who build and rebuild Yorkshire’s iconic drystone walls as part of their daily work back in 2000. After 20 years, it seemed like a good time to end.”

Aimed at preserving the county’s ancient craft of dry stone walling, the biennial competition recognised and rewards the people behind the miles of distinctive walls that define Yorkshire’s famous landscapes. Held in association with the Yorkshire Dry Stone Walling Guild, the competition ran for 20 years.

Accepting the award, Stan said: “It is a great honour to be receive this prestigious award for keeps, and it will take pride of place in my home. I know some of the earlier winners on the plaque. I guess once you start to build a dry stone wall it gets in your blood, and stays with you for life.”

Quick facts:

  • A survey in 1988 recorded over 8,000km (5,000 miles) of stone built walls in the Yorkshire Dales, making it the largest man made feature in the Dales
  • Some walls date back to the Bronze Age settlements such as on Burton Moor and Calverside in Swaledale
  • A well built wall can easily last for more than a century