A fieldstone path in Westwood, MA.

I was commissioned to redesign and build a fieldstone path utilizing Pennsylvanya fieldstone.

The client already had this built twice in the past but was never fully satisfied with the result.

It was basically put together one step after another with 3'x3' avg. sized stones, without good risers/faces 

resulting in 14 continious steps going straight up to the top of the hill. 

You can still see a section of the original path at the top of the hill in the inage below.

The path lacked in character and artistic appeal and it was a chore to climb the 14 steps in a row to the top.

Additional stones with more interesting shapes and varied sizes were purchased and the work begun.

I started with the largest and more interesting stone. To make the path wider at the base of the hill I doubled up some of the smaller stones in a "Y" patter. The wide entrance imparts an inviting approach to the path and stairs that follow.

The first section of the path is long enough to take two steps before going up to the next riser. 

An easy beginning, opposed to facing a number of steps all at once all the way to the top.

A nice landing after a few quick steps creates a pleasant place to pause, especially if there is something to look at. A distraction.

I suggested a sculpture, a plant on a trellis or the like, to the right of the landing as a focal point to grab your attention.

To continue upwards from the landing I wanted a larger stone then what I had available on site.

Found one!!!! it barely fits in my small pickup truck! 

In order to get a even level stairway I gaged all the stones risers by turning them upside-down, marking them parallel to the required thickness, scoring with a diamond saw and hand chiseling off the rest.

This way the stone can overlap eachother without changing the lateral pitch.

My "battle" saw. 

Well, it is time to roll this big beast up the hill...

We chain it up, flip it over and re-chain it right side up.

The incline and the previously laid stone do not allow me to use the bobcat all the way up so we set up a temporary ramp to roll the rest of the stone up the hill.

The space between the planks allows for easy chaining/unchaining of the stones without having to pry them up to release them. 

Now we can easily (kind of) roll it in place. This stone weighs in at 1500 lb.

Since the job was not hard enough, we stumble upon some granite ledge!!!!  Scoring and chipping this off to fit the last stone in took us about 2 hours (of cursing) Some hard granite!!

I added some "standup" stones and a small retaining wall as the land pitch at the right was just too great.


I created an open and welcoming entry, curved the path to an "s" shape for contrast, diminished the number of steps from the original 14 to 9 and created a "brake" with a focal point about half way to the top. 

© Fabio Bardini 2012| florentinemasonry@gmail.com| (978) 825-9922