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The word gallet is from the French and has been adapted to mean the insertion of small pieces of stone into the mortar joints of masonry. The term is mostly used in England with other names such as pinning, cherry cocking and chinking being more common elsewhere. Galleting is usually used where the local stone is not freestone and is, therefore, difficult to work into regular blocks with narrow mortar joints.
Galleting is very common in the south east of England where, in Surrey, it is also referred to as Garneting. It may be found in all the counties from Norfolk in the north to Hampshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire to the south and west. Kent has many fine examples of Kentish Ragstone galleting whilst Sussex has some of the best flint galleting much like that found in Norfolk. In Scotland there is a great variety of what is known as pinning or cherry cocking, very similar in appearance to examples that may be found in Ireland.
Dr Colin Arnott PhD MCIOB FRICS
Before retirement I was in private practice as a Chartered Building Surveyor accredited by the RICS in building conservation.
Since 2010 I have been undertaking research with Dr Alan Coday in the Department of Science and Technology at Anglia Ruskin University where I have completed my doctorate under the title "The origin, development, purpose and properties of galleting: Theory and practice." This research has revealed much previously unknown information about this traditional craft.
The questionnaire that appeared in "Feedback" is now replaced by a "Thank you" to the large number of respondents who sent information. It also features two site visits that have taken place to observe work in progress on repointing masonry with galleted mortar joints.
The responses are very important to us because they help to identify the geological spread of the different forms of galleting or pinning.
Please see Feedback for more information.