A brief history of galleting

Galleting throughout Great Britain largely dates from the time of the Norman Conquest through to the Victorian era although pinning that was extensively used in dry stone walling existed for millennia prior to this.

12th Century

Windsor Castle provides early examples of galleted masonry having both flakes of flint inserted into the mortar and oyster shells laid in the bed joints. Henry II started much of the castle's construction and subsequent rulers added to this. One notable addition is King Henry VIII's Gate circa 1510 - 1520.

Most of the original galleting has been replaced over the centuries, much of it in a most unsatisfactory manner by the architect Wyatville in the 1820's. Fortunately some of the original has survived to provide a guide for future maintenance.

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Example of the galleting to be found at Windsor Castle

The Church of St Michael and All Angels, Aylsham, Norfolk.

Dunsfold Church close up detail (1) Woodhouse

This beautiful church was built circa 1270. Although it has been repointed it is thought that the original ironstone gallets were salvaged and reused.

The picture kindly provided by Julian O'Neill.

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The Chapel of Apliki, Kato Drys, Cyprus.

Knole was built by Thomas Bourchier, Archbishop of Canterbury, during the period 1456 - 1486. The masonry is of Kentish ragstone with gallets formed from the same stone. The picture on the right is of the original material.

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The ruined Chapel of Apliki is believed to date from the Venetian period 1489 - 1570/71 when Cyprus was enjoying wealth brought by trading.

The picture above illustrates quite densely packed gallets in the joints.

Henry VIII acquired the property and extended it, forming a new front and entrance courtyard during the period 1543 - 1548 and built using materials and galleting to match the original.

This style of masonry was in use in Kent from the 14th to the 19th century although some of the early work was of galleted random rubble walling.

Picture kindly provided by William Napier

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Gareth & Old Cot Shere

The image on the right illustrates brickwork galleted with small pieces of ironstone.

The building is located in the County of Surrey where this is known as garnetting. Although common in stonework the use of galleting in brickwork is quite unusual.

18th century

La Fosse, St. Martin, States of Guernsey.

Beccles and District Museum, Suffolk

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Beccles museum  1762

This building dates from circa 1770 when, in the 18th century, galleting was enjoying something of a revival.

The black pebbles create an unusual form of galleting.

The original building constructed in the 16th century had a thatched roof. Major restoration in 1762 resulted in the new front wall with its squred flints coursed with bricks and having flint gallets.

It is a grade I listed building.

Picture of LaFosse kindly provided by Simon Went

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St Johns Church, Sevenoaks, Kent

Arundel Road Dorking

This mid Victorian boundary wall is of flint with ironstone gallets that are thought to have been used for decorative purposes.

It was not uncommon for Victorian churches to have galleted masonry; in this case in Kentish ragstone random rubble.

Picture of Arundel Road, Dorking kindly provided by Martin Higgins.

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Flint House, Aylesbury 6

The photograph above shows one area of the flint masonry in which the flints are set closely together with neat galleting.

Photograph kindly contributed by James Morris.
Copyright James Morris

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The walls of this property demonstrate a new and exciting way to use flint masonry for a new era.

The sizes and shapes of the flints are graded throughout the height of the building with the galleting developing, again through the height, to accentuate the changing appearance of the walls.

Photograph kindly contributed by Skene Catling de la Pena.

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