Subscribe      List an Event or Business      Invite a Writer      Write for WN      Writers      Other Locations
list an event      1 million Australian readers every month      facebook

Dry Stone Walls

Home > Melbourne > Free | Outdoor | Places of Interest
by Neil Follett (subscribe)
I'm a retired photographer living in Lilydale mainly researching and writing on Australian aviation history. Now writing more on general subjects.
Published December 28th 2021
Rock solid scenary
As you travel through parts of Victoria's Western District you will see kilometres upon kilometres of stone walls, along roadways and dividing paddocks on farms. It is estimated that there are almost 3000 kilometres of the dry stone walls in the surrounding areas.

dry stone wall
Dry stone wall near Terang, Victoria.

They are called dry stone walls as no mortar is used to construct them. Constructing them is an ancient craft that gained popularity in Britain during the late 18th and early 19th centuries and the practice was introduced to Australia during the mid-1800s.

dry stone wall
An English example.

Western Victoria is dotted with dormant and extinct volcanoes which in the last 4,000 to 20,000 years spouted lava and stones. These volcanos were the source of the stones used in the Western District's dry stone walls. Heading west along Princes Highway, the stone walls start to appear at Pomberneit.

Volcano crater
Volcanic crater of Mt. Noorat.

Rabbits were introduced to western Victoria in 1859, another reason for deep stone barriers. The rabbit-proof wall at Pomberneit was built in 1920 and is one of the strongest stone walls in the district; most of it is still standing.

dry stone wall
Dry stone wall at Pomberneit cricket ground.

Off the main roads, numerous examples of the dry stone fences can be seen. Along Dalvue Lane in Terang is a long section of a well-preserved wall.

dry stone wall
Well maintained wall in Dalvue Lane, Terang.

dry stone wall
Close up of stones of wall in Dalvue Lane. Not even a mouse could get through.

Along the Noorat to Mortlake Road, there are numerous examples of stone fences or walls.

dry stone wall
Dry stone wall near Noorat.

dry stone wall
Very solid fencing.

Just a few kilometres north of Noorat, a roadside sign points to and reads, Corangamite Dry Stone Wall Site.

Dry stone wall sign..
Dry stone wall sign.

The small site allows close inspection of the wall and an illustrated plaque details how the walls are constructed.

dry stone wall
Easily viewed site.

dry stone wall sign.
Worth reading.

While recently passing the newly constructed Lilydale station in the outer east of Melbourne, I noticed a stone wall being built. A close inspection revealed that it was a faade, cemented against a cement wall, being decorative rather than practical.

Modern stone wall.
Modern example of stone wall.

When in the Western District of Victoria, it is well worth a close inspection of these mostly preserved and unique structures.
Help us improve  Click here if you liked this article  91
Share: email  facebook  twitter
Why? A solid piece of history.
When: anytime
Where: Victoria's Western District.
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Neil, another excellent article.
I have often wondered about the history of the dry-stone fences and now you have answered my questions. When you look at the fences it must have been back breaking work. David J
by johns (score: 2|146) 394 days ago
I do love the drystone walls you find in Western Victoria.
by Gayle Beveridge-Marien (score: 4|10397) 394 days ago
Very interesting.
“To keep the rabbits out” :-)
by 23and (score: 2|107) 393 days ago
Top Events
Popular Articles