How we build dry stone walls – the expert’s guide

Dry stone walls are a previously lost art form that are beginning to be appreciated again, and as professionals in their construction we are delighted by this. Representing a large chunk of agricultural history and development especially in rural England, dry stone walls represent the portioning off of farmland in a much more traditional sense. You’ve probably happened upon them during a long rural dog walk or even at a country pub garden, and they look as though they’ve tumbled into a meticulous pattern almost by accident. Well, we can assure you that a lot of consideration and planning goes into their careful construction, so we’re going to illuminate you on how these walls are built.

Our construction process

First, we prepare the ground by levelling it and clearing it ready for the start of construction. We then collect all of our materials, mostly local stones in keeping with the landscape, and sort them into large, medium, and small piles to best inform our construction process.

We then mark out the area with guide strings and wooden stakes to form the scaffolding of the walls. We soon begin the actual assembly process of piling up the stones to see which ones fit best where in order to create a sturdy wall. Each layer consists of tightly packed stones with a mixture of a few large stones running lengthways through the middle of the wall to act as a sort of skeleton or ballast. We continue this stony jigsaw until we have reached the desired height and length and we’re certain the wall is strong and fortified.

We use the same technique as brick walls do, the ‘two over one and one over two’ technique. This ensures that the layers cover each other and don’t produce gaps of fault lines, fortifying the walls from wear and tear. They do differ from brick wall construction in that we don’t use a sealant or cement to glue to stones together; the end result is a carefully constructed pattern of stones each relying on those surrounding the other. When left without trouble or upset, they can last a lifetime.


Contact Tom Trouton for Dry Stone Walls in Dorset

Based in Dorset, we use plenty of naturally occurring stone local to the area, so your walls and partitions will feel authentic and true to life. Contact Us today to receive the expert guidance and construction of our dedicated team to discuss how we could help you with your next project.