Dry stone is a building method by which structures are constructed from stones without any mortar to bind them together. Dry stone structures are stable because of their unique construction method, which is characterized by the presence of a load-bearing façade of carefully selected interlocking stones. Dry stone technology is best known in the context of wall construction, but dry stone artwork, buildings, bridges, and other structures also exist.
Walls were originally built using stone from the surrounding fields. This had the dual benefit of not only producing a solid field boundary but also improving the fields. Many are still standing over 100 years later.
Dry Stone Walls are mostly associated with the more rugged Northern counties but there are pockets in Dorset, notably on the Purbecks and along a narrow coastal strip from Portland to Abbotsbury in the West where dry stone walls have been used as field boundaries.
Across the UK, there are over 60,000 to 70,000 miles of wall in a state of disrepair. The members of the Dorset Branch of the Dry Stone Walling Association try to do their bit to rebuild some of those across the county.