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Dry stone constructions for storing water

Dry stone constructions for storing water

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As many of you will already know, the dry stone building technique involves using stone as a single construction element, without the need for a mortar. We have already discussed this technique in other posts, as well as the tools used for it and the types of constructions that can be made. This time we’re going to talk about the different stone constructions that were used for storing water.

Discover them with us!

In areas with erratic rainfall, it was essential to make sure that there was enough water available for people, as well as for crops and livestock. That is why people started to build ponds and other types of constructions for storing rainwater. This category includes:


A pond is a container of water with a flat circular base that is located outside and left uncovered. The walls of these ponds were built using the dry stone technique, while the base was usually made from clay (a material that is practically waterproof). Walls were built around the ponds to prevent animals entering the water, and they would even be covered with a false dome.


Cisterns are a smaller type of underground pond. They have a rectangular or square base and are covered and surrounded by a cabin with a metal or wooden door, to allow people to enter and collect water with a bucket. This indoor pond is dug into the ground, either by taking advantage of a natural recess in the rock or by using a hole that has been made specifically for this purpose. It has two holes, one for the water to enter and another for the overflow.


Pits are rectangular in shape and are dug into the rock. They are located in the lower area of a large rocky surface and have grooves furrowed into the stone that channel water into the pit. They are usually covered with a metal or wooden lid to prevent animals from accessing them.

Discover more about dry stone at Rock & Tools

At Rock&Tools we have a lot of experience in the sale of tools for working with stone and for the dry stone technique. On our website you will find a comprehensive range of all the best tools for sculpting stone and those who are interested in the world of sculpture will also find a lot of fascinating information on our blog. If you have any further queries about the most suitable tools for you, get in touch with us so we can advise you. Join our community! You can follow us here, in our Art Space and on social media.

Last modified on: April 06, 2021

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