Craigieburn Historic Stone Wall Restoration

The first stages of the restoration and stabilisation of the historic dry stone wall at Craigieburn was started yesterday. Several large trees that were growing through the wall and were disturbing its stability were carefully removed so that work can be undertaken to stabilise and strengthen the wall. The wall was part of the original subsistence farm settled in the early 1860’s by William and Elizabeth Rankin and was built on the original Wakari Road boundary. The wall has two quite distinct building styles which suggests that it was built in stages as labour and resources became available. Some of the foundation stones in the wall are enormous and the manual effort of moving such monsters with hand tools, bullocks and sleds must have been back-breaking work. Much of the stone for the wall would have come from the adjacent paddock as it was cleared in preparation for future ploughing and cropping, though there is some evidence of locally quarried stone from the property also. Grant Webber from John Clearwater Contracting was asked again to utilise his skills and remove the trees using a mechanical digger after they had been cut back by the Taskforce Green team. The end-point of the wall was also carefully dismantled so that the base stone which had collapsed over time could be reset and stabilised. Stone mason Stuart Griffith will begin work on the wall over the coming weeks to reset loose stones and ensure that the structural integrity of the wall is maintained. Project Manager Paul Pope and local archaeologist Jill Hamel supervised the tree removal  which is the third and final stage of the historical restoration at Craigieburn. While there is still some clean up work to be completed from the tree removal the site is beginning to take shape as an exciting part of Dunedin’s colonial heritage.

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