Page images

road has been formed, a coating of small gravel should be laid on, four inches thick, over the whole breadth of the road; carriages should then be let to run upon it, and the ruts should be raked in as soon as they appear.

When the first coat of gravel has become tolerably firm, another coating, once screened, should be laid on, three inches thick, over the whole surface, and the ruts raked in as before. When this second coat of gravel is consolidated, a third should be laid on, three inches thick: this coat of gravel should be well riddled, and cleansed from all earth or clay, and all pebbles exceeding one inch and a half in diameter should be broken before they are laid on the road. This process should be repeated until there is a body of gravel laid on the road sixteen inches thick in the middle, and ten at the sides, so as to form a convex surface rising six inches from the sides to the centre. The strongest and best part of the gravel should be put on the middle fifteen feet of the road, and the small part of the gravel on the sides. In all gravel roads of this description the greatest care must be taken to drain the subsoil by a sufficient number of cross and mitre drains, communicating with the main drains. If this is not attended to, it will be impossible to form a good carriage way.


A road made with gravel in the way here recommended will be much stronger than gravel roads usually are; but it will be much inferior to one made with stone materials. The roundness of the gravel stones prevents them from becoming consolidated by pressure, so as to form a perfectly hard road surface; and when the gravel consists of limestone, flint, freestone, sandstone, or other kinds of weak stone, it is so rapidly pulverised that the friction produced by wheels passing over it, adds greatly to the labour of horses.



In districts of country where stones are abundant, walls will be the best fences: they require less land than hedges; and, when they are properly built, they give a very neat and finished appearance to a road.

The manner of constructing these fence walls will be described in the chapter on road masonry. Where a quick fence is to be raised, the following specification points out every thing that is requisite :

" A ditch is to be cut and a bank raised, together occupying a space of eight feet in breadth; the ditch is to be on the field side of the bank, to be cut out of the natural ground, four feet wide at top, ten inches wide at bottom, and two feet and a half deep.* The bank is to be four feet wide, and is to be raised by sods, with the green or swarded side out, to the height of fourteen inches above the side channels of the road.


Where the soil is clay the drain should be four feet deep.

“ Two rows of quicks are to be planted on the ditch side of the bank, a bed being first formed for them, of good vegetable mould, fifteen inches deep, and eighteen inches wide. There are to be twelve plants set in every lineal yard : they are to have good roots, three years transplanted from the quick bed, and of a strong and healthy appearance,

“ These quicksets are to be protected by two rows of posts and rails; three rails in each row: the posts to be of good oak, five feet long, five inches deep by three inches wide, with large buts sunk two feet in the ground.

“ The rails are not to be more than eight feet long; to be three inches and a half wide by an inch and a half deep, of good elm, oak, or ash timber.

“ In each length of rails two centre posts, at least two inches wide by an inch and a half thick, are to be driven into the ground, and fastened to the rails with strong nails.

Through cuttings instead of the ditch and mound as before described a mound is to be raised on each side for the quicks, eighteen inches high, two feet wide at top, and faced with sod on both sides ; outlets for the water which collects behind the mound from the slopes are



to be formed under it, at intervals of twenty yards.

“ The mound to be composed of the best vegetable mould that can be procured.

“ The quicks are to be planted in the centre of this mound.”

A quick fence may be also raised in the following manner, in dry soils, without any ditch :

“ A border or flat mound, four feet in width, is to be raised on each side of the road : it is to be six inches above the footpath, and twelve inches above the side channels of the road, if there is no footpath. The top of the mound next the fields is to be made with good earth two feet wide, and to the depth of fifteen inches : two rows of quicksets, twelve in each lineal yard, are to be set in the middle of these two feet.”

“ These quicksets are to be protected by two rows of posts and rails, as before described.”

Where timber is scarce, quick fences may be raised in the following manner :

A ditch is to be cut five feet wide at top, and eighteen inches at bottom, and four feet deep, the sods where the land is grass to be laid two feet high above the side channels of the road, and the earth taken out of the ditch to be formed into a bank five feet wide, sloped to a breadth of

[ocr errors]


« PreviousContinue »