From a 200 year old ruin to a workshop, a 3 year journey... #4: More stone, rock and dirt

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Blog entry by Serradura posted 05-08-2013 07:57 AM 3669 reads 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: With a little bit of help from a friend... Part 4 of From a 200 year old ruin to a workshop, a 3 year journey... series Part 5: Working towards the first stones of rebuilding »

The more you dig down into the history of Portuguese building methods, the more respect you get for these craftsmen that made the dry stone walls. I’m not totally inexperienced in the matter. I’ve learned the process of looking for the stone’s face, how to stack them and fill the gabs in between, from a Turkish friend during my stay over there. We did get the all the wood out, and cleaned out most of the space. Just one corner was still filled with stones and dirt. We just didn’t find the energy at that time….

I couldn’t wait to start rebuilding but first we had to clean out the ruin totally. The pile of stones got higher and wider in the back garden and together with the clay that was used render the walls it became a solid “mountain”. That’s where the solution was. flattening out that steep sloping garden by making terraces. It ment making a strong wall between the raised up garden and the neighboring property. Now, there’s only a few pictures to show the work but it took another 3 months.

We decided to use cement for this wall, we didn’t want to take any risk.

When I’m talking about “we”, I mean myself and my lovely wife who worked “like a man” making concrete, moving big pieces of rock etc.

The first dry stone wall…..

after weeks of hard work, not complaining though, but I could have been woodworking

Hmm, the view makes it worthwhile…

Now, there shouldn’t be a winter in Portugal, (that’s what they say in the tourism brochures) but we had 3 months of rainstorms…. The now exposed back wall collapsed with a big rumble in the middle of a December night. More cleaning up to do, more to rebuild.

The ruin had a little side building, witch we left untouched up until then, but with having a way to go through the building and a place to stock the stones, made us decide to clean that out to, before starting with any rebuilding. Still no woodworking involved….. but you have to got endurance and determination to get a nice workshop.

next time; slowly working towards the first stone of rebuilding.

-- Não só Serradura, Tomar, Portugal

7 comments so far

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 4311 days

#1 posted 05-08-2013 09:14 AM

I thought we had taken on a big project
This is a great build, we came back to Scotland after 20 yrs in Africa
to take on the 1840’s Victorian office block. Our project is tame in
comparison to yours.

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4788 days

#2 posted 05-08-2013 09:58 AM

Looks like hard work, but the results so far are looking mighty good. I used to enjoy working with rocks.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Terry Dale Shampo's profile

Terry Dale Shampo

31 posts in 4119 days

#3 posted 05-08-2013 10:21 AM

Wow…. I started to sweat just looking at the pictures. I thought that I had a tough remodeling job on our Japanese house. Keep us posted on your progress.

-- nichiyou-daiku (Sunday Carpenter)

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30677 posts in 3792 days

#4 posted 05-08-2013 11:02 AM

Incredible amout of work. but I am sure you will do it proud.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View murch's profile


1380 posts in 4079 days

#5 posted 05-08-2013 04:35 PM

Wow you made some great progress. All the heaving and hauling is showing results.

-- A family man has photos in his wallet where his money used to be.

View DocSavage45's profile


9071 posts in 4297 days

#6 posted 05-14-2013 04:07 PM

Your comment about the view is the key to this. The old and new coming together with your energy, I’m sure your neighbors thought you were nuts…like mine did. LOL!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View niftynoel's profile


108 posts in 3000 days

#7 posted 04-11-2014 03:42 PM

Even with the fallen wall, it is starting to look very beautiful… like your wife (and mine).

-- Noel

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