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Ashlar / Mason's drag / Plain work
- Dressed stonework of any type, where the blocks have squared sides, carefully squared
corners, and are laid in regular courses, usually with fine joints. The faces of the stones,
ashlars, are generally smooth and polished, but can be tooled,
(see broached) or have a decorative
treatment such as rockfaced or
It was a common practice once an ashlar wall was
complete, particularly when a softer stone such as Bath Stone, had been used, to run a metal
comb known as a "Masonís drag" over it to achieve a uniform finish. The labour involved in building ashlar
was referred to as plain work. Ashlar blocks are usually 13 or 15 inches deep, blocks of 11 inches or less are
sometimes referred to as "small ashlar".
For ashlar post or piece, also see roof.