Inishmore - © MNStudio

Stone walls in Ireland

Inishmore - © MNStudio

par Guide Irlande

In Ireland, you will quickly notice that the Irish like to square the island with dry stone walls! Preferring natural materials to industrial fences, they have been stacking their stones since the dawn of time to delimit their properties. An action that respects the environment, while giving an incredible charm to the country!

Walls to better delimit territories

A practice that goes back to sedentary agriculture!

In Ireland, we like to leave the environment as it is: raw and wild! Also, any good hiker will be able to walk along miles and miles of dry stone walls, built by Irish hands! They are used not only to fence off the properties, but also to park herds of sheep, horses, and local livestock. (To avoid escapes or mixing up herds of different owners).

This practice is said to date back to the periods when agriculture became sedentary. Tilling the land and the soil would then have given rise to a number of needs:

  • having to “de-stone” farmland
  • the need to physically delimit each plot of land

Faced with these needs, the Irish thus recovered the stones deemed to be troublesome, to pile them up and form low walls. This action had the advantage of offering a spectacle that is still preserved: nature is still queen, and the Irish still seem rather reluctant to concrete and dig in the middle of the countryside! For icing on the cake: these stones are simply stacked one on top of the other: few Irish walls use mortar or concrete! These handmade walls are rough and modular, welcoming in their interstices a real biodiversity!

And for us, it’s a real pleasure for the eyes!


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