Gallery - England

Windsor IMG_1178 small

When the Normans invaded England they brought with them a new form of stone construction. Many castles were constructed throughout England culminating in the building of the most iconic, Windsor Castle, in the late Norman period. The walls built at that time incorporated flat oyster shells bedded within the mortar joints and chips or flakes of stone pressed into the soft mortar, both of which materials are classed as gallets, a word derived from the French language.

The Norman castle at Windsor

Over the centuries this method of construction was gradually extended to include ecclesiastical buildings, palaces, manor houses, small houses and cottages and eventually agricultural buildings, while at the same time spreading out geogrphically. Although the south east contains the greatest concentration of galleted structures similar buildings are found throughout the rest of the country some examples being:

1. Brampton, Cumbria, walls of sandstone

2. Chesterwood, Northumberland, large rubble with galleting

3. Barmston and the Holderness coast, Yorkshire, gallets of brick and stone fragments

4. Albert Dock, Liverpool, Scottish granite blocks with galleted joints

5. Lundy, Devon, galleted granite base to lighthouse

6. Redruth, Cornwall, calcining plant with galleted granite walls

In the south west it is quite usual for gallets to be pressed into the mortar such that they are completely buried leaving no visual evidence of their presence.

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