~ Cleft gates, fencing, panels and other items are made predominantly from Sweet
Chestnut but can also be made using Oak ~ the timber is split using cleaving tools
and wedges (cleaving = cleft) ~ and leaves a riven surface as the wood separates.
~ A riven surface, indeed any textured surface, looks more natural than smooth
surfaces when it ages to a silver patina - as it catches the light more randomly
which shows up the natural contours of the tree's growth more clearly.
~ All of Rockridge's cleft items are hand-split and hand-cut (not machine-split)
~ Using English or Welsh timber, sourced within 50 miles of the yard.
~ Sweet Chestnut is often 'coppiced' ~ meaning that it is cut every 20 to 30 years
back to the stump and re-grows to produce another crop ~ therefore making it a very
~ If you have your own timber already it may be possible to use it to
make what you require.
~ Cleft is as traditional as it gets, having been used for thousands of years to
get the most from each tree by converting it into manageable size pieces.
~ More pictures are in the gallery.