A dry stone wall is generally understood to be one that is built by hand without the use of mortar. Methods of construction vary according to the quantity and type of stones available but all rely on the carefully selection and placement of interlocking stones to achieve a stable structure. Stones used can be cleared from fields for agriculture or sourced from quarries. Dry stone walling has had wide application in fencing and delineating boundaries, forming retaining walls, walls for dwellings and other buildings, bridges, arches, monuments, dykes, fish traps and sculpture.
Evidence exists of dry stone walling going back to the Neolithic Age.