Reader Alex sent some photos of his 142 year old rammed earth house in Greensville, Ontario.
The walls are 12 inches thick standing on an 18" rubble footing. The ceilings are 11 feet high inside. The interior walls are lath and plaster, with the lath being set out about 3 inches from the earth walls on wooden vertical members.
The interior of the wall has the same earth/gravel surface with no large stones visible. On the exterior, there is a coating of stucco or lime plaster.
He writes to say, " I don’t know the nationality of the builder, but my research led me to an owner that immigrated from England when he was young. The story that’s been passed down to the prior owners and neighbours is that the house was once a church rectory. This seems to jive with what I’ve found so far. The 1877 land registry map is labelled with the last name “Hore,” which would be Francis William Hore, who owned a mill across the street, among others, and also built a stone mansion on a large lot next to us (now the residence of a billionaire). In the record of his death, it describes that he was a churchwarden at Christ Church Anglican, which is about a 5 minute walk away, so it’s entirely possible that he built the house as a rectory for the church. As for the actual builder, I found a paper that includes 1871 census information for stonemasons and stone cutters. Lincoln District is the closest that has census info, and the breakdown is England: 21, Ontario: 10, Ireland: 9, Germany: 5, USA: 4, Scotland: 2; Others: 2."