Bricks over ashlar

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.

Thanks, Brick!

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: 

This is just a placeholder for now. I’ll add a real description when I get more time.

10 response to "Bricks over ashlar"

  1. By: Suzanne Posted: May 5, 2019

    I was about to say ashlar shmashlar, but only because of the onomatopeia. I, too, had never heard the word ashlar before although it has been such an important element in architecture over the centuries . Fascinating. I’ll be watching out for it in the future! Many thanks!

    • By: Scooter Posted: May 5, 2019

      Sure, and thanks for the enlightenment yourself. I was familiar with onomatopoeia from my college English lit days, but shmashlar is new to me. Is that a Yiddish term?

  2. By: Seasidejanet Posted: May 5, 2019

    Yes…. but “viaduct” I haven’t heard or seen since I left Kansas in 1970 and just realized it when I read this. Thanks for the memories. I think in California they just call them “overpasses”.

    • By: Scooter Posted: May 5, 2019

      Oh, thanks for pointing out that I don’t quite have my ducts in a row. It’s an aquaduct, if course.

  3. By: gregblood Posted: May 5, 2019

    Back when I worked in the paint industry, my company had a very popular color called “Gray Ashlar.” I always assumed an ashlar was either a bird, a rock, or a tree. I never had enough curiosity to look it up. I’m glad you got to the bottom of the mystery.

  4. By: Bill Stone Posted: May 6, 2019

    I was desperately searching for a way to disqualify you, but then I realized you’re now the one running the monthly challenges…. 😉

    • By: Lednar De Nalloh Posted: May 10, 2019

      Well search no longer Bill, the challenge was brick (singular) not brick walls, a completely different entity, so disqualification by the Cycle365 judicial council is imminent.

      • By: Bill Stone Posted: May 10, 2019

        Life was so much easier when I was the one choosing the monthly Challenges…. 😉

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