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3 Benefits Of A Dry Stone Retaining Wall

Dry Stack Stone Retaining Wall built by Lennox Masonry in Victoria BC

Dry-stack stone walls, also referred to as free-standing walls are an entirely different beast when it comes to the realm of stonemasonry. The tradition of dry-stone walling dates back to the Neolithic Age. However, it seems to be a bit of a dying art form and building technique, as most modern, newly built homes and homeowners choose wooden fences or Allan Block retaining walls, as the presumption is that they are cheaper and quicker to install. This is not entirely true and we will get to that shortly. 

I don't know of many stonemasons who practice this building technique here in Victoria, BC, let alone have any experience with it. It is a true combination of science and art, and, as mentioned, a bit of a rarity in today's building styles. I only had the pleasure of building a handful of dry-stack walls with the first masonry company I was employed under, but I loved it so much that I just began building my own walls in my spare time, with whatever rubble was laying around. Once I started my own masonry company in Victoria, BC, I took on as many jobs pertaining to dry-stone walling as I possibly could. And the beauty of this type of stonework is that you can do it all-year-round, as there is no mortar required, hence, it is not weather dependant. When these walls are built properly and meet the required guidelines, they will remain intact and standing for well over 100 years. I believe this is what I found to be so appealing about dry-stone walls, not to mention their natural beauty and the rich history which comes along with them.  

The Benefits of Dry Stack Retaining Walls and Free Standing Walls:

1) Cost and Efficiency: Not only are they dry-stone walls sustainable, but with a skilled stone waller and some locally quarried stone, these dry stack walls are less costly when it comes to materials and labour, as they do not require a concrete footing, rebar, mortar, proper drainage, or any type of machinery to see the process through. Depending on the wall's height, you may not even have to dig down to the subsoil and can begin building precisely where you stand, with a little compacting of course.

2) Eco-Friendly: Apart from the quarrying process, dry-stone walls are one of the greenest options available, due to the absence of mortar and concrete. These walls blend seamlessly with their natural environment, allowing water to drain without impedance, while inviting vegetation, bugs and all variety of small creatures to use them as a sanctuary.   

3) Durability: What makes dry-stone walls so durable is their ability to move with the freeze/thaw cycles. They require no waterproofing, endure no hydrostatic pressure (water pressure which causes mortar/concrete to fail), and remain flexible with mother nature's elements and inevitable stressors. 

Dry Stack or dry stone Retaining Wall built by Lennox Masonry in Victoria BC

 Lennox Masonry - Dry Stack Retaining Wall

With years of experience in this field, Lennox Masonry is well equipped to assess and address your specific needs. 

Give Us A Call At: 778-968-6574

As always, if you have any questions, please, comment below or write to us at

To check out some of our other Blog Posts and obtain information for a wide-variety of additional Masonry applications, please click here.

Sean Lennox,

Lennox Masonry, Masonry Contractor, Victoria, BC

Lennox Masonry of Victoria BC stone logo

Lennox Masonry of Victoria, BC has been proudly serving both Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands for over a decade. We are small group of skilled masons with a great deal of passion towards our trade and for improving the communities we live and work in. We extend our gratitude to the lək̓ʷəŋən people for allowing us to share and work on this corner of the garden with them. We are thankful for the residents and businesses of Victoria, BC for supporting us in our endeavors!

If you’re in need of a professional and reliable masonry company for your next project, please contact us today!


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