Dry stone walls have a long history, going back thousands of years. They remain a popular choice for many and will likely be seen in the distant future. As a garden service we know everything you need to know about hard landscaping and dry stone walls. This guide will help explain what dry stone walls are and shed light on their history. It will also explain how they are made and what materials can be used to make them. 

What are Dry Stone Walls? 

As the name might suggest, dry stone walls are walls that are made simply with dry stone. No mortar is included and the structure is both stable and strong. 

Within Europe, there are dry stone walls that date back to the Neolithic period (7000 B.C). This was an era where animals became domesticated and barriers were created to keep them from being lost. In upland areas, dry stone walls have left their mark on rural landscapes. 

These walls can also be seen in parts of America. Mostly in areas with rocky subsoils, English and Scottish immigrants brought the skills to lay the dry stone. They can be seen in parts of New England where receding glaciers deposited rocks in the landscape. 

How to Build a Dry Stone Wall

Firstly, in order to build a dry stone wall, you will need to remove turf and lay a base of large stones. As a rule of thumb, the larger the wall, the larger the base will need to be. This is because the walls taper in from the base upwards and inwards. From here, each course needs to be built up. Ensure that the stones sit harmoniously together. 

How Long Will A Dry Stone Wall Last

In the Cotswolds, oolitic limestone is often used for these kinds of walls. However, these will often have a shorter life span of around 100 years. However, other regions such as Cumbria may use granite. Granite walls have a much longer lifespan due to the durability and hardness of the stone. 


Dry stone walls have a long history and heritage within the UK and have spread throughout the globe. They are very simple designs that are easy to build when done correctly. As a garden service, we think these walls are a great choice for those looking for a more classic landscape design. These walls are also incredibly long-lasting when using the right materials. 

Contact Us – Gardens Service

As a specialist garden service, BZ gardens can help with a range of garden maintenance, from waste disposal, estate management, landscape design and much more. We create and care for unique gardens and open spaces for residential, commercial and public clients across London, and Greater London. Should you need support with your landscaping and garden design, contact us and we will be happy to help with your enquiries.