7 Fascinating Facts About Dry Stone Walls

7 Fascinating Facts About Dry Stone Walls

A dry stone wall retaining can be found in many parts of the world, whether they’re countries in North America or Europe, or another part of the world altogether. Here are seven fascinating facts about this type of retaining wall that you may not have known before.

Dry Stone Walls Are Older Than We Think

Dry Stone Walls Are Older Than We Think

The history of dry stone walls is rich and extensive; Dry stone walls have been around for at least 7,000 years. Although there are no written records of its use prior to that time, archaeologists have found many examples of it throughout Europe and Asia. 

How did these walls arise? The simple answer is that early humans discovered that rocks stacked on top of each other would hold up better than earthen walls (the oldest walls in the world).

They’re Simple To Maintain

Unlike most other types of walls, dry stone walls are not slippery when it rains, do not have any exterior paint or wood to be damaged in bad weather, and don’t need much work to look good. Also, unlike most other types of walls, there are no gutters that get clogged with leaves or sticks; make sure that you allow for proper drainage and slope your ground so water can flow away from your wall.

How Do You Build Them

The process of building a dry stone wall , is extremely labour-intensive and time-consuming. Each wall starts out as a simple pile of stones , that are slowly stacked on top of each other , until they form a solid structure. The most important part is to make sure that each layer overlaps , with at least one other layer. so that nothing gets in between them , when it’s time to build up higher.

How Are They Made

A dry stone wall is made of large boulders, stones and pebbles that are cemented together with their own weight. Their extreme stability comes from them bonding together naturally. Because they don’t require any mortar, they are considered one of the earliest forms of construction in human history. 

In fact, some historians claim that Abraham may have worked on a dry stone wall while in Egypt during his youth. They were used as far back as 500 BC in England and were quite common when Rome controlled much of Europe.

Why Do We Need Them

Every day, tons of sand and soil that were created by erosion wash down from mountains onto riverbanks. And if you live on a steep mountain slope, it is likely that at some point you’ll have to get rid of all that sediment somehow. The best way to do so is to build a dry stone wall retaining — a wall constructed without any mortar. Here are three reasons why it may be your smartest solution.

Where To See Them

If you live in a cold area, it’s possible you’ve never seen a dry stone wall. They’re not too common in Europe and North America, but there are still thousands of them scattered across North America and Great Britain. The Cornish city of Launceston is famous for its dry stone walls. Much like other stonewalls built to hold back rocks, these stone walls were constructed hundreds of years ago when heavy machinery was unavailable.

stone wall

How dry stone is often used today?

Dry stone is often used in modern buildings, as it is a cheaper alternative to other more expensive materials.

Dry stone has been used for centuries, and was often the only type of building material available to builders. Nowadays, dry stone is often used in modern buildings, as it is a cheaper alternative to other more expensive materials, Compared to concrete or plastic .

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