A new old fence

On the east side of the house the paling fence is somewhat dilapidated and coming to the end of its life. A section blew down in a wind and palings denail themselves.

The original fence

We could have just got a new paling fence or a colorbond monstrosity but as the fence detoriated I asked my mate Lee if he had any ideas about creating a fence using gabions. Lee is a lateral thinker. I was thinking about square gabions (gabions are mesh wire cages filled with rock, mostly used for large retaining walls). In true Lee style he asked me over to his place and showed me a cylindrical gabion column supported by two character filled railway sleepers.


Now this was a while ago. I like the way the column looked, the stone came from a local quarry, and the whole thing looked like it had been there for ever.

The old fence was removed and the best of the palings kept. We removed the galvanised posts that had help up the old fence and replaced them with 3 lots of sleepers in pairs set in concrete.

Sleepers concreted in

Months passed and I finally got around to ordering some more of the local stone. It had to be over 50mm in diameter so it did not fall out of the holes in the mesh. We were using chain link fence as I had some donated to me. Lee worked out that we could reweave the fence to make a complete cylinder with no joins. This was held in place between the railway sleepers with short lengths of star picket screwed in with fencing screws.

The slow task of filling the cylinders with rocks started. We had to sort the rock on the pile so that the too small stuff was left behind for another day and hand fill. Eventually the three cylinders were filled.

Gabions filled with rock

Hardwood studs that had been taken out of the house were used as new rails and then the old fence palings were renailed but upside down so the ragged ends that had been in the ground were uppermost.

Using the old palings

Three old sleepers were laid on the ground between the gabions and the garden behind reinstated. The result a fence that looks like it has been there forever. The rock is quite dirty at the moment but every time it rains it washes a little  more off.

The new old fence ticks all our boxes. it is unique, uses recycled materials, the stone came from very close by, and it looks great!.

The finished old new fence

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