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Dry stone

- building in stone without mortar, which rely on the skilful placing of stones so that each locks securely in place, for strength and durability. One of the oldest forms of construction, the most common and some of the best, examples are field boundries and, it is well worth considering the fact that most of these structures are over one hundred years old. Virtually all drystone building ignores the slope of the ground, and has the stones and courses set horizontally, although the top course of walls are often set vertically, not just for aesthetic reasons - it stops sheep trying to jump them. There were always professional "dykers", but a great deal of building was undertaken by "amateurs" for example, people who worked the land. The Dry Stone Walling Association was formed in 1968 to ensure the maintenance of good craftsmanship, the protection of dry stone structures, and the future of the trade. The association keeps a professional register.