A dry-stone wall, also known as a dry-stone dyke, drystane dyke, dry-stone hedge, or rock fence is a wall that i constructed from stones without any mortar to bind them together. As with other dry stone structures, the wall is held up by the interlocking of the stones. Such walls are used in building construction, as field boundaries, and on steep slopes as retaining walls for terracing.
Location and terminology
Terminology varies regionally. When used as field boundaries, dry stone structures often are known as dykes, particularly in Scotland. Dry stone walls are characteristic of upland areas of Britain and Ireland where rock outcrops naturally or large stones exist in quantity in the soil. They are especially abundant in the West of Ireland, particularly Connemara. They also may be found throughout the Mediterranean, as in Majorca, Catalonia, Languedoc, Provence, Liguria, the Apulia region of Italy, Cyprus, and in the Canary Islands, including retaining walls used for terracing. Such constructions are common where large stones are plentiful (for example, in The Burren) or conditions are too harsh for hedges capable of retaining livestock to be grown as reliable field boundaries. Many thousands of miles of such walls exist, most of them centuries old.