Dry Laid Stone - A "Solid" Kentucky Fixture


Stone fences (also called walls after the Scottish tradition) can be seen in all quarters of the Commonwealth.  As many as we now have, it is only 5 to 10 percent of the original walls.  Fortunately, there many out there who are dedicated to the repair and preservation of our remaining walls.  The Dry Stone Conservancy was formed to save this part of our heritage and conduct regular workshops for those interested in learning the art of dry laid stone. 

Contrary to popular belief, the stone walls of Kentucky were not built by slaves, at least most were not.  Itinerate masons traveled around the state contracting for the jobs.  These masons were from the British Isles where dry laid stone work went back generations.  It is called "dry laid" because there is no mortar in the wall.  It is held together by placing the stones in a particular fashion that locks them all together.  The resulting structure is both strong and flexible, allowing ground movement while staying together.  That is how it is supposed to work anyway.  Many of the original walls in Kentucky lack one or more of the essential elements of wall construction, which is why they need repair today.

Below are some of the ongoing projects around central Kentucky.  If you have pictures of other projects or other dry laid stone structures, and would like to submit them, contact the webmaster.

Shakertown - May 26-27, 2007


Waveland State Historic Site - June 8-25, 2007
US 68 near Shakertown - June 16, 2007
Leslie W. Morris Civil War Park - Sept. 22, 2007
John Jacob Niles Homeplace - Oct. 2007

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