Friday, January 6, 2012

Masonry in South Pare

We took a holiday from Christmas to new years and while moving around i kept my eyes open for interesting masonry.

Pare and Usambara mtns are blessed with good stone, mostly granite. this below was easily quaried but there is field stone lying around. I drool over this pile.

The opening picture is this building. probably 30 years old. Clay/sand mortar, no ring beam.

Note a few stones sticking out, a few holes, and a board left in the wall.

Suji is a village bound by walls of a valley. there is no business but subsistence farming. So most people go away, make a living , visit at christmas, and build big houses. The one below is a famous family and this is the retaining wall around a three story house, reinforced columns and beams.

Chungkicha is 95 and he paid about 50 shillings to have this house made in the 1940's.
On this wall the sun, wind ,and rain have caused the clay/sand stucco to erode but the adobe brick are in perfect condition. A well meaning realative has plastered the walls on his veranda, and in some years there will be problems as the moisture wont gt out. One of the nicest looking small houses i have ever visited.

The next village over has less valley space and the road is cut from steep slopes. Extensive drystack retaining walls.

High up on the slopes on Suji valley is this church. No continuous lintel, just cement lintels over openings.

Not sure what the holes are for. Probably they put scaffolding on logs through wall. Also not sure why they do a thin layer of cement below window.
Very nice looking church. Even their outhose is made with granite stone and walls look great, wish the roof looked better.
At the foot of the mountains is the remains of this old school. They moved the school and took off the roof ten years ago and the walls are slowly eroding away.

Wonder why they didn't choose stone more and not plaster the outside. plastr was clay/sand and then thin layer of cement.

Despite having fantastic stones laying around this house is mud block, then plastered over with stucco. this house we own, and we will build a stone house with vaulted brick roof next door and take this house down. The stone will be granite field stone. the bricks i will have to find a way to make the bricks there on site.

In Suji you cant neglect this church.

My phone camera lacks quality, so trust me it says 1928. this is shaped stone probably 10 by 25 m with 4 m side walls. Quite impressive. Probably made mostly by German missionaries.


  1. Hello! I will be looking forward to visit your page again and for your other posts as well. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about masonry in your area. I am glad to stop by your site and know more about masonry. Keep it up! This is a good read. You have such an interesting and informative page.
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  2. Hi! I am researching construction materials for a landscape project in Tanzania and your blog gave me very good leads. Thanks!

    1. I am unable to disclose the project but it is in Dar Es Salaam. Another is in Kawe. Possibly later I can tell you more about it.

      The one in Dar Es Salaam, my concept requires the use of many locally manufactured or quarried paving and low wall materials, which is why your blog was so helpful! If you can refer some more resources it would be massive! I'm also looking for local influences on site/outdoor furniture like benches, signage, trash bins, etc., preferably ones designed and produced by Tanzanians.