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Different types of dry stone constructions

Different types of dry stone constructions

As you already know, the technique for building with dry stone is based on using stone as a single construction element, without the need for mortar. We find this topic particularly interesting and would like to delve into it further, so today we’re going to talk more about the different kinds of constructions that can be built using this technique. Will you join us?

In Spain you will find many different constructions made using this dry stone technique, and you will also see that the constructions in each region have different specific characteristics. They could all generally be classified as the same type of construction, but we wanted to highlight that there are particular characteristics that will tell you which region they were built in.

Types of constructions

Boundary constructions

All of the constructions that we’re going to mention are built in the same way, using small pieces of stone joined together to form one solid structure. This category includes:

  • Protective walls. These are stone walls that are designed to protect land.
  • Boundaries. These look similar to protective walls, but their purpose is to demarcate land, particularly land that has a track, road or service road running through it.
  • Animal pens. In this case we’re referring to constructions that demarcate livestock land.

Constructions for agriculture and other varied uses

The types of constructions that we’re going to discuss now are very rudimentary, made from stone and located in areas near to agricultural land. This group includes constructions that were used for resting after the working day and/or improvised shelters to protect people from unexpected changes of weather in mountainous areas.

  • Chozas de viñadores (vineyard cabins). Single-storey buildings usually built in a circular shape with a false dome.
  • Chozos (huts). Small structures around 5 square metres in size, but tall enough so you can stand up inside and carry out basic
  • Chozos de medias paredes (half-wall huts). These are U-shaped and their walls are usually around 1.5 m tall. The roof on this type of building is usually in the form of a peak, formed using a central post that is connected to several reed branches.
  • Bardal. This is a semi-circular wall with an opening that faces the east, to avoid the wind from the north.
  • Eras (threshing floors). Flat surfaces in a circular shape where the paving is made using small stones fixed into the ground.
  • Ribazos, paratas and albarradas. Retaining walls that enable farming land on uneven ground.
  • Casetas. Large dry-stone buildings where every element is built entirely using stones. Although they are not designed to be lived in, they can offer a temporary alternative for certain times of the year, when required for farming or livestock activities.

As you can see, many different types of constructions have been built throughout Spain using this technique. Have you had the chance to see some of them? Tell us about it! At Rock&Tools we are passionate about stone and sculpture, and we sell every kind of professional tool you could need. Very soon we will also be able to offer all the necessary tools for working with this technique. If you need further information about how to begin and what tools you would need, you can find all this information in our blog.

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Last modified on: March 30, 2021

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