Dry stone retaining wall?

14 Sep 2010
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United Kingdom
I’ve dug out a circle in my garden and want to build a dry stone wall around it.


It’s about 800mm of earth behind it.

I’ve collected a load of stone and wondered if I cut the bigger ones to 200mm deep would that be strong enough or should I go bigger?

The ground has supported itself for a few weeks.

Also should I drop mortar in behind any gaps in the stone? And I have a load of weed control fabric, is there any point lining the back with that?

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The ground behind it looks pretty firm from the photo. If I were doing it myself I wreckon 200mm would be sound. Sticking a bit of cement down the back defo wouldn't go a miss as long as there's plenty of drainage (y)
I’ve collected a load of stone
"collected", is that what they call it now.:sneaky:

I've never been brave enough to build a true dry stone wall. Rather, I cheat and use mortar then finish with a recessed tuck-pointed rough finish. It also means you don't have to faff quite so much when selecting the stones to fit, particularly relevant if you don't have a mountain of 'collected' stones to choose from.
Like Nosealll I would "cheat". To build a dry stone wall that will remain standing takes a lot of skill. It also requires a large variety of shapes and sizes of stione to create the interlocking structure that is hidden inside the wall. Without that internal structure the wall would be as strong as a heap of stones.

Rain water will wash earth through the gaps in the stones.

So if were me I would build a water proof wall of bricks and mortar to jus below ground level and then build a "dummy" dry stone wall in front and over the top of the brick wall.
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"collected", is that what they call it now.:sneaky:

Yes, some were off Facebook Marketplace and the rest I dug up :)




I do wonder though, if I ‘collected’ some from an unused quarry near me, would I be stealing them or what?
I’m sat looking at it in the rain, missus and kids are out so i’ve made a start.

I’ll get to a level then bung a load of mortar down the back before I go any higher.

Looks good. nicely structured

I would be wary of rain washing unset mortar through the gaps and staining the faces of the stones.
I ended up just cracking on. I’ve run out of decent shaped stones. Here’s a pic my missus sent round saying ‘I wonder what he is thinking’ :LOL::ROFLMAO:

This is how I left it. It looks **** but on the plus side, it’s equally **** as the wall behind it so it matches and it was free






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