Diagonal Herringbone Panels

Diagonal herringbone consists of a series of patterns of bricks – stretchers and soldiers laid at 90 degrees to one another, creating a diagonal pattern at 45 degrees to the horizontal (see Fig 260). Whilst the herringbone pattern still comprises only soldiers and stretchers, it is much more complex than basketweave and requires a considerable amount of cutting. The cuts are all square cuts and only bats of 65mm long and 140mm long are required to complete the pattern, but the cuts must be made very accurately and all to the same length, as errors will show up very obviously in the mortar joints. The relative complexity of the pattern also demands great concentration from the bricklayer as it is easy to make a mistake, especially if bricks of two colours are being used.

Fig. 260 Method of constructing a herringbone panel, again starting with an opening formed in the main wall ready to receive the panel.

The panel bricks are laid in the order shown in Fig 260, starting from the bottom right-hand corner. In this case the use of a line for only one stretcher at a time becomes impractical, so stretchers are laid and checked for level with a boat level and the face plane lined in to the surrounding brickwork with a straight-edge or spirit level. The soldier bricks must be laid vertically and each one must also be checked up its vertical side with a boat level, and the front face plane lined in to the surrounding brickwork with a straight-edge or spirit level. This ‘up and down from one side to the other’ pattern of working is repeated as the panel is built, then the brickwork of the main wall is continued over the top of the panel. Great care must be taken to ensure the correct thickness of mortar joints so that they line up properly with the bed joints of the brickwork in the main wall. An overly thin bed joint under one soldier brick can very quickly disturb the symmetry of herringbone.