The word gallet is from the French and has been adapted to mean the insertion of small pieces of stone into the mortar joints of masonry. The term is mostly used in England with other names such as pinning, cherry cocking and chinking being more common elsewhere. Galleting is usually used where the local stone is not freestone and is, therefore, difficult to work into regular blocks with narrow mortar joints.
See pictures illustrating the wide variety of galleting demonstrating the many regional variations of this traditional form of construction. Please let me know if you have pictures that you would like to add to the gallery.
Everyone is welcome to use this website as a source of general information on galleting, a subject that is surprisingly broad and fascinating, on the understanding that this information is provided in good faith and within the limitations of current knowledge.
The contents are copyright and may not be used or reproduced without prior consent.
You should find that there are new buttons at the top of this page one of which is "Your photo's". This is because I consider that the time has come to share with you some of the many photographs that have been sent to me in response to my requests for more information about galleting and pinning in all its varieties.
HISTORY OF GALLETING
For those interested in the early days of galleting and its gradual development over the centuries please try this tab. Although very brief at this stage it is hoped to expand the information provided in due course.
REPOINTING GALLETED MASONRY
Very little information is available about the tricky task of repointing galleted masonry. The tips given here are provided in good faith and intended to help those interested in this work avoid some of the simple mistakes that may arise through misunderstanding the needs of galleted masonry.
As Part of my research I am always seeking to locate examples of galleting from the UK and internationally to learn more about it and contribute to a better understanding. If you know of any examples I would be delighted to hear from you.
I have updated my website to make it more accessible on a range of devices. This has involved a number of changes to the following pages and in particular the galleries which I am currently working on.
Please bear with me while I complete this. Hopefully it will result in worthwhile improvements. I am always very pleased to hear from you and receive photographs of interesting examples of galleting or pinning.
That galleting may be found on Guernsey and was often of small black pebbles pushed into the mortar? - see gallery.
In Surrey "galleting" is frequently refered to as "garneting". The author, Alec Clifton-Taylor descibed this as "can look like little necklaces, strung over the building's surface." (The Pattern of English Building, 1972)
That the term "galleting" is primarily English. In other parts of the UK it is commonly refered to as "pinning" including Scotland where other terms such as "cherry cocking" and "cherry caulking" are also used.
Pinning in Scotland and Ireland frequently includes small square or rectangular pieces of stone, sometimes refered to as pups, in the vertical mortar joints.
Gallets are usually thought of as small chips or flakes of stone but other materials such as oyster shells, small pieces of brick or clay tile, slate, indeed any stone substitute may be employed.
RENDER OR HARLING
Galleted masonry is not always visible as it may be hidden within the mortar of the joints or behind a coating of lime render.