Last edited 07 Oct 2020

Rubble masonry


Rubble masonry, also known as rubblework, is the use of undressed, rough stone, generally for the construction of walls.

The most basic form of rubble masonry is dry-stone rubble walls which are very common in rural locations and popular with landscapers looking for a traditional aesthetic. The rough, unhewn stones are piled on top of one another without mortar, and are often laid in irregular horizontal courses.

Alternatively, the stones can be bound with cement or lime mortar, although in this case, a greater degree of stone selection may be required to avoid excessively wide mortar joints. Stones can be bonded by laying longer ones both along the face and oriented lengthwise across the depth of the wall. Selected stones are laid to form roughly square angles at quoins and around openings.

Polygonal rubble walling is where stones are split-faced and roughly dressed to suit a specific pattern or design. Random rubble walls involve stones of varying sizes and joint widths with small wedge-shaped fillets bedded into the mortar between them.

Rubble masonry can also be used as the outer surface of a wall, particularly common in medieval cathedrals and historic buildings, and as a core infill between external and internal wall faces.

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