What is Dry Stone Walling

What is Dry Stone Walling?

Dry stone walling is an ancient technique that involves constructing wall structures from stones without any mortar to bind them. Sounds easy? In theory, just ‘stacking up stones’ sounds straightforward but, in reality, it takes a lot of skill and experience. The system relies only on friction and gravity. The technique is still used today, even in Coffs Harbour! In this article, we’ll explore what dry stone walling is, its history, and why it remains relevant today.

The Basics of Dry Stone

Dry stone structures have a range of benefits. For example, they are extremely durable and blend into their natural surroundings seamlessly. Unlike typical constructions that use mortar, dry stone walls withstand environmental pressures, such as weather changes. In fact, they rarely require maintenance and even grow stronger over time.

Dry Stone Walling History

Dry stone walling dates back thousands of years. In fact, it is one of the oldest forms of construction known to man. Historical examples range from the Neolithic village of Skara Brae in Scotland to the iconic pyramids of Egypt (Yes, they are dry-stone structures).

Today, impressive dry stone walls are easy to find. For example, if you visit the UK, take a drive through Wales. You’ll be impressed by the thousands of miles of beautiful dry stone walls winding throughout the countryside. Moreover, what’s perhaps most impressive is they continue up and over the most extreme terrain.

Global Footprint

Dry stone walling has been used all over the world. For instance, in Australia, Aboriginal peoples utilised dry stone methods to create the Brewarrina Aboriginal Fish Traps (Baiame’s Ngunnhu). These are among the world’s oldest human-made structures. Essentially, the Aborigines built low-walled areas in rivers to catch freshwater fish.

Modern-Day Craftsmanship

The art of dry stone walling is still practised today. Despite the demanding level of skill required, dry stone constructions are often the best technique for robust and beautiful results. Fortunately, the necessary skills are being passed down and a whole new generation of wallers is keeping the ancient technique alive.

If you’d like to explore exciting dry stone wall possibilities for your property, chat with Luke at Solé Structural Landscapes today.

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