Ashlar! That’s my new word for the day. I’ve been staring at ashlar walls and streets for much of my adult life, but I don’t remember even seeing the word before now. It took a lowly brick to bring it to my attention.
Ashlar is finely dressed (cut, worked) stone, either an individual stone that has been worked until squared or the structure built of it.
i discovered this in researching this aquaduct we passed on our day ride from Tropea. The aquaduct was interesting in its own right of course, but it also caught my attention because it was capped with a layer of brick. Aha! I’ve found my subject for the monthly challenge, thinks I. Now, if I can just learn something interesting about it to pass on so I don’t need to do something goofy like invent a sidekick or compose a haiku.
I found three references to this aquaduct, all written in pretty weak English. The first two described it as Roman, which I wondered about too at first except for its fine state of preservation. The third one though said it was commissioned in the late eighteen hundreds by the mayor of nearby Ricardi to develop a water source for the village. That sounds specific enough to be convincing.
Also though, this article described it as an ashlar arch aqueduct, which led me to the Word for the Day.
So that’s interesting enough if you’re into bricks and stones. If you’re interested in biking also though, you could check out our day ride from Tropea.
And, in case you don’t go there, here’s a closer look at these two building materials in inaction: